Nearly 100 Pakistanis die from bad medicine

Pakistani heart patients return faulty medicine at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 26, 2012. AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani heart patients return faulty medicine at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 26, 2012. Around 100 patients have died from faulty medicine manufactured locally, and dozens more are in a critical condition in hospital, government officials said.
Pakistani heart patients return faulty medicine at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, Pakistan, Jan. 26, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images

Bad heart medicine in Pakistan has left about 100 people dead, nearly 300 more hospitalized and three drug company owners arrested, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.

The state-run Punjab Institute of Cardiology gave free, locally manufactured medicine to most of the patients who died, the provincial government executive told the AFP. A government official attributed most of the deaths to "at least one" of the five medicines prescribed by the group.

"Action will be taken against those found guilty," the Punjab executive, Shahbaz Sharif, told AFP.

The medicine harmed the patients' bone marrow and components of their blood. A doctor involved in the investigation into the bad medicine told the news agency that the number of victims could rise.

The medicine was taken off store shelves and removed from hospitals after 23 people died from a batch of contaminated drugs in December. More drugs suspected of being faulty are being tested in London, Paris and elsewhere in Pakistan.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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