Pharmaceutical Firm Booked After Cough Syrup Kills 12 Children

The company has been booked under sections of Drugs and Cosmetics Act that carries a minimum punishment of 10 years.

2 min read

Himachal Pradesh authorities have suspended a pharmaceutical company's licence and registered an FIR over the deaths of 12 children in J&K allegedly due to contaminated cough syrup, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Tuesday, 3 March.

Thakur told the state assembly that the FIR was registered at Kala Amb police station after a Chandigarh-based government laboratory on Monday sent a report on syrup samples taken in Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir.

The state authorities had stopped the Digital Vision Pharmaceuticals from manufacturing its products soon after the deaths were reported from Udahampur district in Jammu and Kashmir last month.

On Monday, the company’s manufacturing licence was suspended till further investigations. The company has been booked under sections of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act that carry a minimum punishment of 10 years.

Police have also slapped section 308 of the Indian Penal Act for attempt to commit culpable homicide.

The lab report, which led to the registration of the FIR, said the syrup produced by Digital Vision Pharmaceuticals was contaminated and contained 34 percent diethylene glycol, a toxic compound.

Thakur said the state government was informed by Jammu and Kashmir's drug controller on 15 February about the deaths after the children had taken Coldbest-PC cough syrup from batch number 5201. The Himachal Pradesh government then set up a team headed by an assistant drug controller that inspected the firm the same day, he added.

The Nahan drug inspector also took five samples of Coldbest-PC, which have been sent to a laboratory for testing. The report is awaited, the chief minister said. The drug inspector also seized other records from the firm, he added.

The CM said that the company was directed to immediately withdraw this batch of the cough syrup from the market.

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