Federal agencies in Pakistan are investigating the cause of over cardiac patient deaths linked to fake drugs administered to some 40,000 patients at a Government run hospital.

Officials have seized medicine stocks and hospital records, and the owners of three local drug companies have all been arrested.

The Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) issued the drugs after purchasing approximately five million tablets from Pharma Wise Laboratories, Al-Falah Pharma and Mega Pharmaceutical, all located in Lahore, Pakistan.

Hospital records seized as part of the investigation confirmed that a drug testing laboratory had cleared the medicines before payments were made to the companies; however, the investigation has found that inactive ingredients were purchased from the local market, instead of being imported from abroad.

Samples of drugs seized have now been sent to the Federal Central Drug Testing Laboratory as well as laboratories in Paris and London for testing.

According to reports one of the companies in question produced fake licensing documents after its Drug Formulation License expired in April 2011, and only one company could present authentic documents relating to the import of raw material.

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