Rapid Alert: Contaminated Propylene Glycol Identified and Confiscated

Rapid Alert

DRAP Alert NoNo  II/S/03-24-14
Action Date8th March 2024
Target Audience1.Therapeutic Goods industry
2. Manufactures of Oral liquid preparations
Problem StatementFederal Government Analyst, Central Drugs Laboratory Karachi vide test/analysis vide No. RM-2-24-000179 and No. RM-2-24-000180 dated 01-03-2024 declared the sample of Propylene Glycol (Raw material) sent to CDL Karachi by Federal Inspector of Drugs Islamabad-I as of substandard quality due to contamination of DEG and EG. ( Click for details)

Two samples were collected from separate containers which were labelled as Propylene Glycol, Batch# C815L44R41 and Batch# C815L44R52, purportedly manufactured by Dow Chemical Pacific (Singapore) Private Limited. However, upon further investigation, it seems that none of the samples were actually manufactured by Dow Chemicals and the labels were false.

It is important to note that on January 11, 2024, a rapid alert was also issued for contaminated Propylene Glycol with batch number C815N3OR41, which was labelled as being manufactured by Dow Chemicals, Thailand. However, Dow Chemicals, Thailand has clarified to DRAP that it was not their original product and was falsified by some miscreants. The company also analyzed the retained samples of the original product and shared an analysis report, which showed that it was in compliance with the required specifications.
Risk Statement:Diethylene glycol (DEG) and Ethylene Glycol (EG) contamination in Propylene Glycol (PG) can lead to serious health risks when used in oral liquid preparations. Upon ingestion, these chemicals (EG and DEG) are converted into toxic metabolites which can affect the central nervous system and heart. Moreover, it can also cause kidney damage which may lead to fatal consequences.
Action Initiated: –The Regulatory Field Force has taken possession of contaminated raw materials and commenced an investigation to trace the supply chain of these containers. Manufacturers of therapeutic goods have been prohibited from using propylene glycol without testing for the presence of EG/DEG levels. These materials should only be obtained from authorized suppliers of original manufacturers with thorough verification of the integrity of the supply chain and originality of the product. The Regulatory Field Force has also been directed to ensure compliance and seize any such raw materials or products found to be contaminated in the market.
Advice for Therapeutic Goods ManufacturersManufacturers of therapeutic goods are required to follow these instructions:
1.      Recall Products: If any batch of finished product has been manufactured using the same batch of the propylene glycol that has been identified as contaminated, the retained sample should be immediately analysed and these finished products should be recalled from local and export markets if found contaminated.

2       Screen Raw Materials: Before using them in the manufacturing of oral liquid preparations, all raw materials should be screened for contamination with EG and DEG.

3.     Analyze Finished Products: Before their release into the market, all finished products should be analyzed for EG/DEG contamination.

4.    Compliance: Ensure compliance with all directives issued by DRAP to safeguard public health from contaminated products.

5.     Follow Guidelines: Adhere to the pharmacopeial monograph and WHO guidelines for testing EG/DEG in oral liquid preparations during the analysis of both raw materials and finished products.

Our utmost priority is public safety. DRAP is committed to supporting the industry in maintaining rigorous quality control and testing procedures to prevent any potential harm caused by contaminated products.
Advice for Healthcare ProfessionalsDRAP requests healthcare professionals to stay updated with advisories and recalls. Patients should be educated about the risks and symptoms of EG toxicity. Close monitoring of patients using the affected products is crucial, and any adverse events should be reported to National or Provincial pharmacovigilance centres.

-Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) or quality problems experienced with the use of these products shall be reported to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC), DRAP using Adverse Event Reporting Form or online through this link.

-Please click here for further information on problem reporting to DRAP.
Advice for ConsumersConsumers should stay informed about the latest advisories and recalls from DRAP. If they have experienced any problem or unusual symptoms after using oral liquid preparations, seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan / National Pharmacovigilance Centre.

All therapeutic goods must be obtained from licensed pharmacies and other authorized/licensed retail outlets. The authenticity and condition of products should be carefully checked. Seek advice from your pharmacists or other healthcare professionals in case of any doubt.