By Kuda Pembere
After being ordered by the Medical Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to withdraw some batches of 4Cs Cough Syrup reported to be contaminated off the market, CAPS Pharmaceuticals says it has called off some.
MCAZ last week directed CAPS Pharmaceuticals to recall from the market 170 000 units of the popular 4Cs syrup used to treat children with flu and cold, due to suspected contamination.
Three batches were recalled at the beginning about a fortnight ago, but towards the end of last week, the number of recalled batches had risen to six.
“Caps would like to notify the public that we have recalled some batches of 4Cs Syrup from the pharmacies due to a suspected defect,” said CAPS in a statement.
Despite pulling the product off the market, CAPS maintains that its clean after conducting independent tests on it arguing the discoloration on bottle caps did not spoil the medicine.
“Independent tests have shown that the product is safe to use despite the defect which is due to a discoloration on the bottle cap of the product.
“Our own re-tests have also confirmed that the product is safe to use and not contaminated with foreign material as had been initially suspected. The tests have confirmed that the brown discoloration is due to spillage of the product itself and not contamination,” said the company.
The company reassured the public that 4Cs is still safe to use.
“We therefore wish to assure the public that 4Cs Syrup is safe to use and there is no need to stop taking the product.
“An independent laboratory has assessed 4Cs syrup and has concluded that despite the reported defect, 4Cs is safe to use, 4Cs has been manufactured for over 40 years, is widely distributed in the Sadc region and its stability and safety is well known. 4Cs remains available in all pharmacies nationwide,” added CAPS.
Government recently took over CAPS Holdings’ drug manufacturing unit, CAPS Pharmaceuticals, and Health Care (Private) Limited — two entities which used to be part of the group.
The pharmaceutical company was once one of the largest drug manufacturers on the continent, but ran into problems a few years ago due to mounting debts.
Government’s failure to pay for drugs and an influx of cheap imports further compounded the company’s woes.
Government is the largest customer for pharmaceutical products manufactured in Zimbabwe.