Indonesian families sue government over deaths from syrup medicines

Since August, 199 people have died of acute kidney injury, prompting an inquiry and ban on some medicines

A pharmacy in Jakarta, Indonesia displays a sign that says the sale of medicinal syrup has been temporarily halted.
A pharmacy in Jakarta, Indonesia, displays a sign saying the sale of medicinal syrup has been temporarily halted. Photograph: Tatan Syuflana/AP

Rebecca Ratcliffe and agenciesFri 2 Dec 2022 06.20 EST

A dozen families, whose relatives died or fell ill after consuming cough syrup medicines, have sued the Indonesian government and companies accused of supplying the products.

At least 199 people, many of them young children, have died as a result of acute kidney injury since August, prompting the government to ban some syrup medicines and launch an investigation.

Agence France-Presse, which reported news of the lawsuit, said the class action been launched against the ministry of health, the country’s food and drug agency and seven companies implicated in selling dangerous syrups.

Families are seeking compensation of about 2 bn rupiah (£103,000) for every person killed and about 1 bn rupiah for every person injured, according to Awan Puryadi, a legal representative of the victims’ relatives.

He told AFP that the authorities had failed to prevent the sale of harmful medicines. “No one has claimed responsibility. They are very disappointed with the current situation,” Puryadi said.

Indonesia’s food and drug agency has suspended the licences of at least three manufacturers that were producing syrup medicines while police investigate.

According to a World Health Organization product alert issued in November, eight products in Indonesia were found by the national regulatory authority to contain dangerous levels of ethylene glycol and/or diethylene glycol – colourless liquids that are typically used in antifreeze.

According to the WHO, the consumption of such compounds, especially by children, may result in serious injury or death. Toxic effects can include “abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury which may lead to death”, the WHO has warned.

In October, the World Health Organization issued an alert over four Indian-made cough and cold syrups that it said could be linked to acute kidney injuries and the deaths of 70 children in the Gambia.

Làng sạt lở thôi sợ sạt lở

13/10/2022 10:38 GMT+7

TTONhìn con nước cuồn cuộn đổ về, ký ức chạy “hà bá” của người dân Triêm Tây lại ùa về. Nhưng 15 năm nay, từ khi biết cách chung sống thuận tự nhiên, cảnh nơm nớp sợ sạt lở đã không còn dù mỗi năm nơi đây vẫn bị nhiều trận nước lụt.

Làng sạt lở thôi sợ sạt lở - Ảnh 1.

Những dự án du lịch về thôn Triêm Tây đã “tự tin” ra sát sông Thu Bồn khi áp dụng kè thuận tự nhiên – Ảnh: TRƯỜNG TRUNG

“Mang vào kẻo đạp gai, vít. Uốn ván thì khổ”, quăng cho khách đôi ủng, bà Huỳnh Thị Tài (67 tuổi, thôn Triêm Tây, xã Điện Phương, thị xã Điện Bàn, tỉnh Quảng Nam) dẫn đi lội bùn. 

Đây đã là lần thứ hai trong tháng, người dân vùng đất ngã ba cuối sông Thu Bồn dọn lụt với tâm thế bình thản.

Tiếp tục đọc “Làng sạt lở thôi sợ sạt lở”

U.S., Russia vie to sell arms to Vietnam at first Hanoi fair

reuters – December 8, 20223:17 PM GMT+7

By Francesco Guarascio  and Khanh Vu

Vietnam holds first international arms expo in Hanoi

Military arms are displayed at the Vietnam International Defence Expo 2022, in Hanoi, Vietnam, December 8, 2022. REUTERS/Khanh Vu

HANOI, Dec 8 (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian defence firms on Thursday displayed weapons and promoted models of aircraft at Vietnam’s first large-scale arms fair, as the two powers vie for influence and arms sales in the strategic Southeast Asian country that borders China.

The event at a Hanoi airbase attracted 174 exhibitors from 30 countries, including all large arms-making nations except China.

Tiếp tục đọc “U.S., Russia vie to sell arms to Vietnam at first Hanoi fair”