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Deaths from Bad Meds in Panama Exceed 200

December 15, 2006

PANAMA CITY – The number of people who have died after consuming tainted medications produced by Panama’s CSS social-security agency may exceed 200, according to reports filed with the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Dimas Guevara told reporters Dec. 4 that his office has received 240 reports of people who fell ill after consuming medicines tainted with an industrialuse alcohol, 220 of whom were said to have died.

He added that these cases were reported by people who informed prosecutors about family members of victims.

The “kidney syndrome” is caused by the toxic substance diethylene glycol, an alcohol for industrial use contained in cough syrups and skin lotions manufactured at a laboratory belonging to the CSS, the government agency that administers the national health-insurance system.

 

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