IN a welcome judgment a Dhaka drug court on Tuesday awarded the highest punishment under the law to a pharmaceutical company owner and her two staff members for manufacturing an adulterated drug for children. Being the first case of such conviction, the court has thus set the stage for holding to account other spurious drug makers, the deadly impact of whose products is yet to be unraveled.
The convicted drug manufacturer, as the case statement goes, was responsible for the deaths of some 76 children due to renal failure following application of their brand of paracetamol syrup that contained a highly toxic ingredient. Though the tragic incident took place between 1982 and 1992, a nexus between the accused and the powers that be caused delay in the process of justice. Mercifully, it was an investigative report run by this paper in 2009 that the case, which remained in hibernation for some 16 years, reopened leading to Tuesday's verdict.
The individuals punished were not the only ones dealing in deaths in the name of producing drugs. In fact, some five drug companies involved in producing such kind of spurious medicines were responsible for allegedly killing some 2,700 children under similar circumstances.
The government must now step in to expedite the process of justice for three other cases, too and sue the fifth such company still enjoying immunity from law.