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Last Updated : Mar 12, 2020 01:45 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

J&K children deaths: Kids consumed cough syrup with poisonous chemical, probe reveals

The authorities of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have filed FIRs, setting in motion further investigations into alleged offences by the company

Representative image
Representative image

After a month of investigations, the cause behind the illness and deaths of children from Ramnagar in Jammu and Kashmir has been revealed — it is a poisonous chemical used in a cough syrup, The Indian Express has reported.

In January, around 17 children from Ramnagar were hospitalised. Of these, more than half died of kidney failure.

The incident was first investigated by a team of doctors from PGIMER-Chandigarh and later by drug control regulators, who said the reason was the intake of “Coldbest” cough syrup containing a chemical — diethylene glycol (DEG) — that should never have been there, said the report.

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According to Chandigarh’s Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory, the September batch of Coldbest contained 34.97 percent of DEG. The syrup is manufactured by Himachal Pradesh-based Digital Vision Pharma and sold in several states.

The reason behind the toxic batch of cough syrup is “poorly” followed manufacturing processes by the company, Drug Controller General of India VG Somani told the publication.

There was no doubt that the syrup was impure. The person who made it was contravening the provisions of law. He has done every test, but poorly done. Things like validation, calibration are extremely necessary and it has to be done properly, said Somani, who heads CDSCO, India’s top regulator responsible for ensuring safe and effective medicines.

The authorities of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have filed FIRs, setting in motion further investigations into alleged offences by the company, said the report.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has said the government is seeking “stringent action” — imprisonment of 10 years to life — against the company’s executives, added the report.
First Published on Mar 12, 2020 01:45 pm
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