Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently seized 15,000 bottles of codeine containing cough syrups of leading brands from the open market of Kashimira area of Thane district . It was observed that these illegal cough syrups were being sold at an exorbitant cost without a valid license. Stocks of brands like Rexcof manufactured by Cipla Ltd and Corex manufactured by Pfizer Ltd were seized among others during the FDA raid. All this clandestine activity was based on illegal purchases, without a license. These stocks were planned to be sold to drug addicts at a very high price. This is the first such case detected in the recent months involving distribution of a formulation containing huge quantities narcotic drug codeine phosphate, according to a senior FDA official. These cough syrups also included the Reskop manufactured by Promed Laboratories Pvt Ltd, Indore, Rancodex manufactured by Smilax Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Baddi and marketed by Ranbaxy Laboratory Ltd and Conex manufactured by Acron Pharmaceuticals, Ahmedabad.Cough syrups worth over Rs 15 lakhs were seized from two persons from Thane in contravention to the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. One person has been arrested by Kashimira police under the charges of 18A, 18C of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and sections 328, 336, 269, 36 of IPC. Police is in search of another person who is believed to be involved in this racket. Maharashtra FDA had also alerted Pharma companies like Pfizer, Cipla and Lupin in the past to keep a check on the distribution channels to address its illegal sale to drug addicts.Investigations have revealed that drug dealers selling these medicines are scattered across Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat from where these drugs are sourced out and distributed in Maharashtra through illegal distribution channels. These drugs are manufactured by around 20 companies in Himachal Pradesh, Dehradun and Jammu and Kashmir.The raid was carried by the intelligence branch of FDA Maharashtra based on a tip off that there are some drug addicts and school children, who had become drug addicts. On the orders of FDA commissioner, Dr. Harshadeep Kamble based on a tip, the team of intelligence branch headed by O S Sadhwani, joint commissioner (IB), kept a watch on the entire operation. The exercise confirmed about the supply of these drugs from an unidentified source following which a trap was laid at Kashimira region of Thane district.