Mahawar Pharmaceuticals Tablets Tested Positive for Zinc Phosphide
The company at the centre of a probe into why morethan a dozen women died after being sterilised in Chhattisgarh has denied that the antibiotic tablets it manufactured were contaminated with a chemical compound commonly found in rat poison. Preliminary tests of ciprocin tablets made by Mahawar Pharmaceuticals, a small firm based in the state, were found to contain zinc phosphide, two senior officials in the state said. Samples have been sent to Kolkata and Delhi to verify that they were contaminated.
The antibiotics were handed out at a mass sterilisation held a week ago at a government-run family planning camp in the state, one of India’s poorest. At least 15 women have died, most of whom had attended the camp. Mahawar Pharmaceuticals managing director Ramesh Mahawar denied any wrongdoing and said in a statement released by the company that information related to the incident had been “exaggerated”.
“We want to make it clear that yesterday (Friday) in our spare store room only a sticky pad to trap rats was found and this is being portrayed as rat poison,” he said in the statement issued late on Saturday.
“We will fully cooperate with the government in this investigation … We believe that after an unbiased investigation, the allegations against will prove to be baseless,” he said.
Police arrested Mahawar and his son on Thursday. Mahawar has said both are innocent. He and his son are still in custody and the statement was released by the company on Mahawar’s behalf. The state government has banned the sale and distribution of all medicines from Mahawar Pharmaceuticals. It has seized 200,000 tablets of Ciprocin 500 and more than 4 million other tablets made by the company.