(MENAFN) An Indonesian court has allowed a class action lawsuit brought by the families of children who died or were injured by tainted cough syrup. More than 200 Indonesian children have died of acute kidney injury since 2022, leading to the case against Indonesia's government and eight pharmaceutical companies. The families seek compensation of USD195,000 for every child killed and about USD130,000 for every child injured.
Nur Asiah, whose four-year-old daughter died last year, was among the parents who brought the case. She expressed relief that the court had allowed the lawsuit, saying, "My child's struggle was not in vain." She hopes that the case will hold the government and pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the tragedy.
An investigation into the contaminated cough syrup is ongoing in Indonesia, but so far, no evidence links the cases with those in other countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued warnings about six cough syrups made in India and Indonesia. About 100 deaths have been reported in The Gambia and Uzbekistan due to contaminated cough syrup.
The families of the victims are seeking justice and compensation for the harm caused to their children. The lawsuit allows other parents to join the case, and their attorney hopes that more families will come forward.
The pharmaceutical companies being sued have responded differently to the lawsuit. Some did not respond to requests for comment, while others said that the government should also be held accountable. One company, PT Universal Pharmaceutical Industries, said that it had been using the same Indonesian Food and Drug authority (FDA) certified system for about 30 years for their cough syrup brand and had bought the ingredients from an FDA-approved supplier. The company's lawyer said that pharmaceutical companies are also victims of a crime by the suppliers of the raw materials.
The families of the victims know that no amount of compensation can bring back their children, but they hope that the lawsuit will help prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future. The Health Ministry has been working on a compensation scheme, but the families believe that the pharmaceutical companies and the government must take responsibility for their part in the tainted cough syrup crisis.
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