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Indonesian Drugmaker Accused of Deadly Toxic Cough Syrup

Toxic ingredients found in cough syrup have rocked a drugmaker following a tragic wave of child deaths.

Cottonbro Studio
Cottonbro Studio

According to a recent Medscape article, Indonesian drug manufacturer Afi Farma is facing severe allegations after its cough syrup was linked to over 200 child deaths. Accusations in a court filing claim the company used toxic ingredients with concentrations as high as 99% in 70 batches of medicine. Specifically, two batches contained ethylene glycol instead of propylene glycol, a key ingredient in syrupy medicines. 

Afi Farma's defense argues that rigorous ingredient testing was not mandatory according to Indonesia's drug regulator, BPOM. As a result, the company's drug manufacturing license was revoked, and four company officials, including the CEO and quality control manager, face charges of negligence. These developments are part of a broader global effort to enhance oversight of drug supply chains, prompted by similar incidents in other countries, where lax safety rules and insufficient ingredient checks in the drug supply chain have been exposed, leading to criminal investigations and regulatory scrutiny worldwide.

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