Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya shared on Friday, 30 December, that manufacturing activities at the Noida unit of Marion Biotech have been stopped "in view of reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max."
The Centre on Thursday, 29 December, said that it is in touch with the Uzbekistan government after the country claimed that 18 children in have died due to the side effects of a cough syrup produced by an Indian pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech.
This comes just two months after the Gambia levelled similar allegations holding made-in-India cough syrups responsible for the deaths of 66 children.
Action taken: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that samples of the cough syrup have been sent to Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory in Chandigarh for testing. Further action based on the lab results, he said.
The big points:
According to the Uzbekistan Health Ministry statement:
18 out of 21 children with acute respiratory disease have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup.
Dok 1 Max Syrup is produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech Limited.
All the children were given the drug without a doctor's prescription. Since the main component of the drug is paracetamol, Doc-1 Max syrup was incorrectly used by parents as an anti-cold remedy on their own or on the recommendation of pharmacy sellers.
Preliminary laboratory studies have shown that this series of Doc-1 Max syrup contains ethylene glycol.
The situation in Gambia:
A panel of experts at the Gambia National Assembly have held Indian pharmaceutical company Maiden Pharmaceuticals' cough syrups responsible for the death of over 66 children.
"The government should pursue legal action against Maiden Pharmaceuticals for exporting contaminated drugs to The Gambia with the Atlantic brand name," the panel told the National Assembly.
The report also calls for the blacklist of the company, and recommends banning its products in the country.
What India said: The World Health Organization had, earlier this month, said that it stands by the actions against Maiden Pharmaceuticals that it issued in October this year.
India’s Drug Controller General Dr VG Somani stated that the cough syrups, manufactured by the Haryana-based company, weren’t found to be contaminated when tested at an Indian government laboratory.
In a letter to the WHO, he wrote:
"As per the test reports received from the government laboratory, all the control samples of the four products have been found to be complying with specifications."
He also noted that the expert panel examining the results had requested the WHO for "specific information (on) further details essential to establish the causality."