Pak blames India for cough syrup toll

Days after an adulterated cough syrup caused the death of 40 people, a senior Pakistani official has contended that an ingredient imported from India to make the medicine was to blame, a claim described as “ridiculous” by the drug manufacturing association here.
Nisar Ahmad Cheema, the director general of health of Punjab province, told reporters that dextromethorphan — an ingredient imported from India — was found to be responsible for the deaths in Lahore and Gujranwala districts. Twenty people, most of them drug addicts, died in Lahore in November after drinking a cough syrup. Another 20 died in December. The cough syrups linked to the deaths were made with dextromethorphan, officials said.
“Samples taken from victims in Lahore show a very high concentration — 4.1 mg/ml to 7.8 mg/ml — of dextromethorphan,” Mr Cheema said. A concentration of 3 mg/ml is considered lethal, he said.

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