The Punjab government withdrew a batch of 200,000 Aspirin tablets from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) after they were found to be contaminated. Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Saeed Elahi confirmed the contamination and called for an immediate withdrawal of the drug from the hospital’s dispensary. The batch was dispatched to PIC’s dispensary from December 16 to January 12.
Another spate of panic might start as there is a chance that tablets from this batch might have been sent to other pharmacies in the city. The fatal medicines have taken 80 lives so far, while the death toll is expected to rise at PIC. The panic will take some time to subside, as it has emerged that 400-500 patients were given the same medicine at the hospital.
The medicine triggered an unknown disease that is said to get deposited in the bone marrow and ultimately ends the body’s resistance. The generation of white blood cells stops in the body and a severe chest infection also takes place. The symptoms of the disease include a change in complexion, low platelet count, vomiting blood and a severe chest infection.
FIA raids pharmaceutical company, confiscates raw material, The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided the site of one of the pharmaceutical companies which provided medicines to the PIC and confiscated raw material for inspection.
The FIA on January 22 arrested the owners of pharmaceutical factories involved in selling contaminated medicines. FIRs were also registered against them on directions of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
The companies that supplied the medicines include Alfalah Pharma (Pvt) Limited, Mega Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd and Pharmawise Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd.
Contaminated medicines include Cardiovestin (Simvastatin), Alfagril (Clopidogrel), Concort (Amlodipine) and Soloprin (Asprin). The medicines, consultants have been told, must not be prescribed until a probe into the matter is concluded.