LAHORE - The Federal Minister for National Regulations and Services (NRS) Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) had cleared the finished products and the raw material of the cough syrups being blamed for deaths in Shahdara and Gujranwala.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was talking to a six-member delegation led by LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar. The other members of the delegation include LCCI Standing Committee Convener Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, Mohammad Zakaur Rehman, Mohammad Akram Khan and Khawaja Jehanzeb Akram.

The Federal Minister said that she had already formed a high-powered fact-finding committee under the Chairmanship of Federal Secretary Health to identify the reasons of deaths in two particular localities of the province as no such report has been received from any other part of the country where the people consumed the said syrups.

She made it clear that the Federal Government is alive to its responsibilities and would act in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations since the Drug Regulatory Authority is well in place.

The Minister said that the Federal government will take all steps in the light of the findings of the committee. Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that she is holding a meeting at LCCI with all the stakeholders belonging to pharma industry next week to finalise a strategy to avert such incidents in future.

Talking to her, the LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has intervened into the issue because of the unrest among the business community after the arrests and registration of people attached with the Pharma Industry.

He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is bound to watch genuine interests of the local businessmen and save them from undue harassment and embarrassment.