"BPOM has performed actions against pharma industry which produced the liquid medicines whose EG and DEG contaminations were exceeding limits and one chemical substance distributor that falsified its mixing," said the Head of BPOM, Penny Lukito, during her press conference on Thursday (17/11).
One of the distributors is CV Samudera Chemical. Police said the owner of the company already escaped. Another distributor that has become suspect is PT Afi Farma.
For Yarindo, BPOM said the company was violating multiple rules in the last two years. The repeated violations made BPOM suspect their products.
The syrup produced by Yarindo was proven to contain 48 mg/ml of EG, although the safety limit dictates the contamination must be less than 0.1 mg/ml.
BPOM said there are two other companies which are under investigation: Ciubros Farma dan Samco Farma.
Penny said that her institution is working alongside the police and the Attorney General. Previously, Penny Lukito has refused to be blamed in this drug poisoning incident. BPOM is currently being sued by the Indonesia Consumer Community.
Criminal law expert from Trisakti University in Jakarta, Azmi Syahputra, gives a strong reminder that BPOM must also be held accountable in the poisoning case. Azmi said the drug supervisory agency has been negligent in performing their duty.
"BPOM should be pulled as well as a responsible party because based on the theory of causation, BPOM contributed to be a causal factor which could not be removed from its role," said Azmi Syahputra.
Furthermore, Azmi explained that according to the Presidential Regulation, BPOM has the responsibility to supervise the production and distributions of drugs, both before and after the drugs' circulation.
The Indonesia Consumer Community which sues BPOM is criticizing the drug supervisor because they ask the Attorney General to protect them.
"Head of BPOM should sufficiently deploy the legal bureau within BPOM to face the lawsuit from Indonesia Consumer Community," said the head of Indonesia Consumer Community, David Tobing.
In their lawsuit, the consumer community accuses BPOM for allegedly violating the law and public fraud. BPOM is deemed responsible for issuing the permits for the contaminated drugs.