ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regu­latory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has directed all the pharmaceutical companies to test each of their syrup batches for glycerin and sorbitol levels.

“Glycerine and sorbitol are components of most of the syrups and they are used to make the syrups sweet. Recently, we observed that in one batch of syrup, manufactured in 2021, there was more than the optimum level of glycerin. Although it is yet to be identified whether the glycerine level exceeded the maximum limit and made it hazardous, we have directed all companies to test each batch and submit reports to Drap,” Chief Executive Director (CEO) Dr Asim Rauf said while talking to Dawn.

He highlighted that this year in India, an increased quantity of glycerin in a syrup led to toxicity.

“Although no such reports have been received in Pakistan, we want to ensure the safety of syrups in the country,” he added.

Raids illegal syringe factory in Peshawar

He stated that even if companies produce 15 batches of syrup in a month, they must provide a lab test certificate for every batch.

“We have received a clear directive from Health Minister Dr Nade­­em Jan that there should be no compromise on the quality of medicines.

“Moreover, it has been decided to introduce online mechanism for the registration and licensing of medicines,” he said.

Meanwhile, Drap raided a factory which was manufacturing banned syringes in Peshawar, and confiscated a heavy consignment of syringes. The raid was conducted on a tipoff.

Dr Asim Rauf mentioned that legal action has been initiated against the factory owner.

“We will not allow anyone to manufacture banned syringes because the health of people is compromised because of them,” he emphasised.

It is worth mentioning that Drap has banned the manufacturing of reusable syringes, and now only auto-destructible syringes can be produced in the country.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2023

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