HP pharma firm told to submit stock withdrawal report every six hours

All the drugs of this batch are being seized or recovered by FDA Haryana,” N K Ahooja, State Drugs Controller, Haryana said.

Medicine Cough Syrup
Picture: Pixabay

DHARAMSHALA: Himachal Pardesh Drug control authorities have directed the pharmaceutical company facing investigation into the death of nine children in Jammu to submit a report on the status of medicine stock withdrawal from the market every six hours.

The department has taken stock registers and drug manufacturing records of the company, registered by the name of Digital Vision, into custody and directed it to suspend manufacturing.

Nine children from Udhampur, Jammu, died after consuming Coldbest-PC cough syrup manufactured by the company.

Action was taken after drug control authorities in Jammu communicated with Himachal in this regard. They started investigation on February 15, which is still underway.

Confirming the details, state drug controller Navneet Marvaha said, “We visited the company and issued directions to the manufacturer to withdraw the entire stock from the market and report to the department on the status every six hours.”

Sources said state authorities are in regular communication with the Drug Controller Office of India in this regard.

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According to sources, the batch of cough syrup in question was of September 2019. The drug inspector has taken samples of four other batches as well. All samples have been sent for analysis and reports are expected in a few days.

“We are also trying to reach end users,” said Marvaha. Director, health services, Jammu, Dr Renu Sharma said the common factor in the nine deaths which took place between December 2019 and January was Coldbest-PC syrup.

“There were 17 children affected and nine of them died,” she said. The manufacturing unit of the company is located at Kala Amb in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

“The food and drug administration (FDA) Haryana has been conducting regular checks on medical stores to identify supply of such medicine.

All the drugs of this batch has been seized by FDA Haryana,” N K Ahooja, State Drugs Controller, Haryana said.

Haryana health authorities have imposed a complete ban on this brand of medicine. Dr Suraj Bhan Kamboj, director general, health services (DGHS), Haryana said he conducted checks and verification and found that the medicine is not part of government supply.