Three more cases reported

Published Dec 28, 2012 02:45am

LAHORE, Dec 27: Six people have been brought to the Mayo Hospital after they took an overdose of cough syrup, setting alarm bells ringing among the provincial health authorities on Thursday.

Emergence of new victims of the cough syrup speaks volumes about incompetence of the authorities concerned and the extent to which the case of 19 syrup-related deaths in November was mishandled, the experts believe.

It also sent a wave of shock among the patients taking cough syrups manufactured by various companies for treatment purpose, they said.

However, all the patients are now stable at the hospital.

Of the six, two patients have consumed spurious Tyno cough syrup sale an manufacturing of which had been strictly prohibited by the Punjab government till the conclusion of the probe into death of 19 people, an official privy to the information told Dawn seeking anonymity.

“This is height of bad governance and incompetence on the part of the health and district officials who failed to stop sale of that banned drug which had claimed lives of 19 people in the city”, he regretted.

He said three patients were brought from Gujranwala and one each from Sialkot, Shahdara and Shadbagh.

Apparently all new victims seemed to be drug addicts, the official said, adding that four of the six patients had consumed cough syrups manufactured by pharmaceutical companies other than the firm which manufactured Tyno.

He said the doctors recovered a bottle of Tyno syrup from a patient brought from Shadbagh that contained active ingredient Dexamethorphan traced by some earlier lab reports carried out in connection with the deaths in Lahore.

He said the patient told the doctors that he had purchased the syrup from a medical store (Bismillah Medical Store) located in Shahdara.

The official said the continuing sale of the banned syrup responsible for 19 deaths had alarmed the authorities concerned.

“The medical experts suspect that the problem might be in the dexamethorphan which is currently being imported either from China or India”, the official said.

The Punjab government would have to take this issue as a priority to avoid another tragedy, he said.

After surfacing of fresh victims, there were apprehensions that syrup manufactured by other companies containing dexamethorphan meant could also cause a tragedy, he warned.

The official further said the emergence of cough syrup reaction cases from Gujranwala city was also a matter of grave concern.

Quoting contents of Tyno syrup related inquiry, he said a distributor from Gujranwala district had also supplied the defective syrup in Shahdara area of Lahore where a majority of cases of drug reaction had surfaced in November.

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