18 Deaths Reportedly Linked to Indian Syrup in Uzbekistan; Pharmaceutical Company Reacts.
New Delhi: According to Uzbekistan, at least 18 youngsters there have perished after reportedly ingesting a cough medication made in India.
In a statement, the Uzbek health ministry revealed that the youngsters who died had taken the cough medicine Doc-1 Max, which is produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech.
India has opened an investigation into the problem, and the pharmaceutical company's Noida facility has stopped producing cough syrup while test samples are being taken.
The laboratory testing of a batch of syrups revealed "the presence of ethylene glycol," a hazardous chemical, according to the Uzbek health ministry.
According to the ministry, it was discovered that the kids had been taking this syrup in excess of the recommended amount for 2 to 7 days at home, in quantities of 2.5 to 5 ml three to four times per day, before being sent to the hospital.
The parents utilised the syrup to treat their colds.
According to the statement, Doc-1 Max pills and syrups have been removed off sale in all pharmacies across the nation following the deaths of 18 children, and seven staff have been let go for failing to act quickly enough to analyse the problem and take appropriate action.
Teams from the Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO - north zone) are working together to undertake an investigation.
Uzbekistan was also asked for a report on the casualty assessment.
From its manufacturing facility, Marion Biotech said samples of the cough syrup have been obtained, and they are currently awaiting the test results.
"The administration is looking into the matter. Since the manufacture is now ceased, we will proceed in accordance with their findings "said Hasan Raza, director of legal affairs at Marion Biotech Pharma.
India-made cough syrups have been the subject of scrutiny twice in the past year.
Cough medications made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals, located in Haryana, were blamed for the deaths of 70 children in the Gambia earlier this year.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization had closed its Sonepat facility in October due to a manufacturing standard infraction.
Prior to this, the WHO had said that a laboratory examination of Maiden cough syrup had revealed "unacceptable" levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, both of which are poisonous and can cause severe kidney impairment.
In response to the WHO, the Drugs Controller General, VG Somani, stated that testing conducted at government laboratories on samples of Maiden's goods had "been determined to be compliant with standards" and that no harmful chemical had been identified in them.