The Indian government has launched an investigation after Uzbekistan’s authorities said 19 children died after taking a cough syrup manufactured by an Indian company.
Food Safety and Drug Administration Department official Ajay Kumar Jain told Anadolu Agency that investigations are underway against the drug maker.
He said it is a joint investigation by state and federal drug authorities, adding that samples from the firm are being tested.
In Uzbekistan, children died from consuming Dok-1 Max syrup manufactured by Marion Biotech in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
An over-one-year-old baby who consumed Indian-made Dok-1 Max syrup died at the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Emergency Medical Care in Qashqadaryo on Wednesday, according to a statement released by the prosecutor’s office in the region.
As reported by the Uzbek Health Ministry on Tuesday, 18 children with acute respiratory disease have died after taking Doc-1 Max syrup.
Before being admitted to the hospital, the deceased children took this drug three to four times a day at home, with a quantity of 2.5-5 ml, which exceeds the standard dose for children, the Health Ministry’s statement stated.
Moreover, Marion Biotech Pvt. Ltd., which manufactures the syrup, was registered for use in Uzbekistan in 2012 and imported it into the country by Quramax Medikal LLC.
Despite the fact that the drug has paracetamol as its main ingredient, parents incorrectly used Doc-1 Max syrup as an anti-cold remedy on their own or on the advice of pharmacists. The statement also noted that the syrup contains ethylene glycol, a toxic substance that the government declared toxic, which resulted in the deterioration of patients’ conditions.
Additionally, Dok-1 Max tablets and syrups have been withdrawn from sale nationwide, urging parents to buy medicines only with a prescription.
Since Dec. 27, the Indian government has been in regular contact with Uzbekistan’s national drug regulator, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
According to the statement, “UP Drug Control and CDSCO conducted a joint inspection of Marion Biotech’s Noida facility, and further action would be taken based on the inspection report.”
A similar incident occurred in Gambia in October when the World Health Organization issued a medical alert for four contaminated medicines linked to acute kidney injuries and the death of 66 children there. Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited produced cough and cold syrups.
Earlier this month, the Health Ministry informed the Indian Parliament that “control samples” of the drugs from the manufacturing unit had been drawn and tested.
The samples have been declared to be of standard quality, according to the government analyst’s report.
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