Potentially Fatal Cough Syrup Not Available In Fiji: Health

Fiji’s Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Atonio Lalabalavu, has assured the public that a potentially fatal cough syrup, Trillium Guaifenesin Syrup (TG Syrup), is not available in the local market.

The medication, manufactured by QP Pharmachem Ltd in India and packaged in 100mg/5ml with Batch: SL 429 and an expiry date of October 2023, has been the subject of concern in the Pacific after alerts from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Therapeutic Goods Administrations Australia, and Medsafe New Zealand.

Following notifications from these agencies, the Fiji Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Services (FPBS), with the assistance of the Fiji Medicine Regulatory Authority, conducted due diligence through pharmacies in Fiji, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“The response from private sector pharmacies and local distributors was that the product was not available in the local market.”

Dr Lalabalavu also expressed confidence in the surveillance and monitoring systems in place and highlighted the ministry’s close working relationship with the Border Control Unit to monitor the entry of medicinal products into the country.

The FPBS is also upgrading its surveillance systems through online drug registrations and prequalification processes to ensure that only quality medicines are imported.

According to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Medical Devices, and Product Quality Laboratories, TG Syrup contains ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol, which are highly toxic and can cause serious harm to human health, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury, all of which can lead to death.

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