Raids on pharmacies selling ‘Corex-D’ continue

The Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority (CDDA) would continue to raid pharmacies to check whether any of them were still selling the banned cough syrup ‘Corex-D’.

The Health Ministry early last month banned the sale of ‘Corex-D’ following the death of seven persons who had drunk it as an intoxicant.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority had received several complaints against a number of private pharmacies that they were illegally retailing the cough syrup ‘Corex-D’ at a high price to finish their stocks. The drug was banned, not due to a defect, but owing to misuse by certain individuals who mix large quantities of it with alcohol and other substances. The combination of the codeine in the syrup and in the alcohol or other beverage could result in death, the spokesman said.

A week ago, an incident had occurred in Gampaha where a person had died under mysterious circumstances. He was among four others who were on cannabis. An open verdict was given at the postmortem as the cause of death had not been identified.

However, police had recovered four bottles without labels in the premises where the four were living. An SMS sent to the diseased had also served as a clue as to what the substance would have been. The sender of the SMS was absconding, he said.

He said there were several unauthorised pharmacies which were functioning and Food and Drug Inspectors of the CDDA would carry out raids to identify them.

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