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Parents Sue Indonesian Govt Over Toxic Cough Syrups That Killed Their Children

At least 199 Indonesians, mostly children, have experienced acute kidney injury due to the consumption of toxic cough syrup.

Cover image via Bangkok Post & freepik

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A dozen of families are suing Indonesia's government, and several companies involved, for allowing drugs that have killed or damaged their children's kidneys across the nation

The country has experienced a spike in cases of acute kidney injury since August this year, with at least 199 people, mostly consisting of children, prompting an investigation and a ban on the sale of particular liquid medicines.

According to New Straits Times, the class action lawsuit alleged that the health ministry, the country's food and drug agency, and seven companies distributed syrups that included excessive amounts of two chemicals used in industrial products such as antifreeze.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via freepik

A legal representative of the victims' families, Awan Puryadi, initiated an action against the government's failure in prohibiting the sale of dangerous drugs

"No one has claimed responsibility. The family is very disappointed with the current situation," Puryadi said about the lawsuit, which was filed on 18 November.

"We demand the drug suppliers, pharmacies, the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), and the health ministry to take responsibility."

The lawyer reported that the families are seeking compensation of around IDR2 billion (RM569,743) for every person killed and around IDR1 billion (RM284,871) for every person injured.

He added that two of the families named in the case are pursuing legal action on behalf of a total of 12 families, as there could be more joining in the future.

Image via Money Crashers

Police have initiated an investigation into at least three companies whose licences to manufacture syrup medicine are being temporarily revoked

Meanwhile, in West Africa, Gambia recorded 70 child deaths suspected to be caused by imported syrup medicines in October.

The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that it has also discovered an "unacceptable amount" of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in four Indian-made cough syrups recently and warned the public that consuming these medications could lead to death.

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