At least 13 people died and several others were in critical condition after drinking toxic cough syrup in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore over the last two days, local police said Sunday.

The police said over 20 drug addicts drank a locally- manufactured cough syrup for getting intoxicated on Saturday evening, but fell seriously sick minutes after gulping it.

Five people died right on the spot and the remaining were shifted to the state-run Mayo hospital where doctors said that the medicine was adulterated, causing a serious damage to their internal body organs.

Later on Sunday, eight more people died one after another and the remaining seven to ten patients are in a critical condition, the hospital sources said.

The syrup costs 40 Rupees (0.42 U.S. dollars) and is available at many medical stores in the city.

Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab took notice of the issue and directed police to seal the syrup manufacturing company and medical stores which sold the contaminated medicine to the affected people. He also formed an inquiry committee, demanding it to file a report within 72 hours.

The owners of the medical stores have been arrested and samples of the toxic syrup were sent for laboratory testing.

The business of spurious drugs is flourishing in the country and many local pharmaceutical companies are involved in it.

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