HEALTHCARE providers and the general public have been notified by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) that the Indonesian authorities have revoked the licenses of two pharmaceutical companies (PT Yarindo Farmatama and PT Universal Pharmaceutical industries) to prevent them from producing syrup-type medicines following the death of 159 children under-5 years, due to acute kidney injury.
In the alert, posted on the Agency’s website, it explained that the two companies used propylene glycol as a raw material in the production of medicinal syrups.
“The syrups, often used by children, contained excessive amounts of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. The findings were based on interviews with employees and an examination of documents, facilities, and products of the companies.
“The two chemicals are often used in industrial applications and in antifreeze and brake fluids. They are used as cheaper alternatives to glycerin (used for thickening cough syrups) in some pharmaceutical products. The ingestion of both chemicals is often toxic and can lead to acute kidney injury (AKI).
Similarly, in November 2022, NAFDAC received a report from WHO and alerted the public on the use of four substandard cough syrups containing unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.