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Medicines containing rat poison chemical claim 15 lives in India


Bilaspur, India: According to senior Chhattisgarh officials, tablets distributed to patients at a sterilization camp recently established in India were found to contain a chemical substance which is also a constituent of rat poison, and has led to the death of over a dozen women.

Analysis of the Ciprocin anti-biotic tablets which were distributed at the sterilization camp confirmed that they contain a chemical known as Zinc Phosphide. Poisoning cause by these drugs has resulted in the death of 15 women.

The same chemical was found at factory in the vicinity by the name of Mahawar Pharmaceuticals. The company had been banned from producing any drugs for a period of 90 days in 2012 after the products failed quality standards. However, the company’s license was not suspended and it later resumed operations. The investigations probing into the death of the 15 women was followed by the arrest of Mr Ramesh Mahawar, MD Mahawar Pharmaceuticals, and his son.

Patients presenting with symptoms of Zinc Phosphide poisoning such as swelling, nausea and dizziness continued to visit public hospitals during the week. According to medical officials at the hospitals, some of the patients came with strips of Mahawar medicines in their hands. These patients had not attended the camp, but had acquired the medicines from other sources.

According to state officials, 200,000 Ciprocin 500 tablets have been seized along with 4 million other Mahawar Pharmaceuticals products to prevent illness and mortality.

India at present is one of the leading sterilizers of women in an attempt to rein population. Despite the fact that sterilization methods have effectively controlled birth rates in the recent years, population growth still remains a serious issue for the nation.

November 18, 2014

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