Authorities are said to be working on the lifting of the sales ban of cough syrup, Corex and Corex-D in a month’s time, the Cosmetics, Devices & Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) said.
“In fact we are awaiting the victims’ autopsy reports to be handed over to relevant authorities within the next two to three weeks. Once this whole investigation is over) we will hold discussions with Astron (the manufacturer and the distributor of Corex & Corex - D) to arrive at a decision. Therefore, I believe within a month, we could lift the ban,” CDDRA Chairman Dr. Hemantha Benaragama said.
Speaking to Mirror Business, Marketing Director of Astron Limited, Sirimal Fernando said the company’s financials were slightly affected following the withholding of the sales and were working towards taking back the two brands.
The 56-year old Sri Lankan company operates with 52 brands while Corex and Corex-D have been 44 and 34 years in the market respectively.
“We are constantly in discussions with CDDRA and we have allowed them to carry out their investigations at their own pace while co-orporating with them.
On October 9, the Ministry of Health imposed a ban on manufacturing, selling and distribution of Corex in Sri Lanka, following the deaths of six individuals who had taken the syrup.
Dr. Benaragama also revealed a similar incident in Pakistan on November 26, where 13 people died after drinking cough syrup suspected of being toxic. All dead were reported to have been drug. “We are trying to identify any parallels to the situation prior to reaching a conclusion.”
Corex-D cough syrup composed of Chlorhemramine, Dextromethorpan Ephedrine and Sodium Citrate has been excluded from Schedule 11-A and included in Schedule 11-B of the Drugs Act which effectively prohibits the dispense without a prescription.