Drugs Factory Sealed by Pakistan After Deaths

by Nancy Needhima on Feb 3 2012 11:44 PM

Drugs Factory Sealed by Pakistan After Deaths
Pakistan has shut down leastwise temporarily a pharmaceutical factory accused of manufacturing medicine supposed to have taken the lives of over 100 heart patients, an official said on Thursday.
"We recovered raw material weighing 48 kilograms used for the medicine Isotab from the Efroze Chemicals factory and sealed it for 14 days on Wednesday," said Akbar Baloch from the Federal Investigation Agency.

The factory was closed after a London laboratory appeared to find Isotab responsible for the deaths of more than 100 people in a hospital of the country's most populous Punjab province.

Punjab's chief minister Shahbaz Sharif said Wednesday that the drug had been contaminated with an anti-malarial chemical.

The drug was manufactured by Efroze Chemicals, a factory in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, the capital of Sindh province.

"The raw material has been seized and the factory's operations have been suspended under the drugs act," Baloch said.

He said arrests could be made after the drug inspectors file their reports about the fresh samples they had taken during the swoop.

"The arrests of the suspects could only be made when we get reports about the fresh samples we have seized from drug inspectors," he said.

A government official said all hospitals in Sindh have been alerted.

"Necessary guidelines have been sent to all the hospitals about the use (of drugs)," said a senior health ministry official, not wishing to be named.