Spurious heart medicine kills 120 in Pakistan

Lahore: The toll due to consumption of spurious medicines at a well known heart institute has risen to 120, with a woman losing her life Saturday.

According to the Punjab province health department, a 60-year-old woman named Bashiran Bibi died at the Mayo Hospital, a news channel reported.

The health department said more than 400 patients were still under treatment in various hospitals in the metropolis.

Punjab`s state health secretary and the chief executive of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore were sacked by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif after the toll crossed 100.

Samples of a heart medicine believed to be the cause of the deaths were sent to a laboratory in London and were found to be substandard and injurious to health.

The Isotab tablet samples were heavily contaminated with Pyrimethamine, a commonly used anti-malarial drug, the laboratory report said.

Experts said Pyrimethamine may have caused deadly reactions in the cardiac patients.