Pakistani officials say contaminated heart medication provided by a state-run institute is responsible for at least 100 deaths in Lahore, a city in Punjab province. According to the doctor investigating the deaths, the medication may have been tainted with heavy metal. Patients who consumed the medicine suffered from a sudden drop in white blood cells and platelets, heavy bleeding, and damage to bone marrow. At least 300 people remain hospitalized for treatment of those symptoms.
Officials say the medicine was handed out for free by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. The owners of three pharmaceutical companies that provided at least four cardiac drugs have been arrested. Authorities also shut down and sealed off at least one drug factory. Officials promised severe punishment for whoever is responsible for contaminating the medication.
Health Secretary Jahanzeb Khan told the media some 46,000 people may have receive tainted drugs. Khan said each person will be contacted and warned.
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