LAHORE, Jan 1: Pharmaceutical companies will not use raw material, imported from India, in their products in the light of the Punjab government instructions.

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of owners of local pharmaceutical companies, presided over by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Pharmaceutical Standing Committee convener Khwaja Shahzeb Akram here on Tuesday.

The meeting unanimously decided that national pharmaceutical companies would ensure that active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of Indian origin would not be used in their medicines. These companies would take all possible measures to ensure quality, including payment of extra amount on procurement of APIs from reliable European sources.

The pharmaceutical industry would also extend cooperation in all investigative initiatives taken by the Punjab government, while the authorities concerned should also take strict action against the persons adulterating the products of pharmaceutical industry.

The meeting also urged the government to take action against the multi-national companies using Indian raw material in their products.

Khwaja Akram said the actual cause of deaths was not the cough syrup. In fact, it was attributed to forbidden and high doses and not the syrups which soothes dry and productive cough throughout the country.

The government should impose imperative restrictions on illegal, without prescription, sale of such medicines. Measures should also be taken to reduce drug abuse among the addicts and immature drug users.

“The pharmaceutical industry reiterates its unconditional support to the government in this behalf, said Akram who was flanked by Zakaur Rehman, Asad Shujaur Rehman, Sheikh Waheed, Tariq Misbahur Rehman and Nadeem Shami.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has appealed to the masses to use cough syrups as prescribed by qualified physicians and avoid overdose.

The PPMA said, in a statement on Tuesday, both the Ethical Lab Pvt Ltd and the Reko Pharmacal (Pvt) Ltd have not only withdrawn their syrups from the market but have also asked the distributors to stop the sale of dextromethorphan cough syrup 120ml and Tyno cough syrup SF 120ml.

“Both the companies are ready to face all sorts of inquiries and will extend maximum cooperation if the government decides to hold a judicial inquiry into the matter. Both the companies have done their part of duty by investigating the ingredients of the syrup and found nothing wrong with them,” said the statement while urging the authorities to bring to the limelight the findings of the reports into the syrup issue.

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