WHO has warned that these products may have been exported to other countries as well and there is a possibility of global exposure
New Delhi: The Indian government has initiated a probe into four cough syrups after the alert from the World Health Organization (WHO) that they can be linked to the death of 66 children in The Gambia, a country in West Africa. Sources in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told that the global organisation had brought up the issue with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on September 29. The medicines were manufactured by a Haryana-based pharmaceutical firm.
Post WHO’s warning, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation took the matter with the Haryana regulatory authority and a probe was launched, the sources revealed.
The medicines have reportedly been made by a firm called M/s Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited in Sonepat. If reports are to be believed, the syrups were only exported to The Gambia, while the company is yet to respond. However, the WHO has warned that these products may have been exported to other countries as well and there is a possibility of global exposure.
“4 cold and cough syrups have been potentially linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children in The Gambia”, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while speaking with the media on Wednesday.
According to the WHO, the 4 syrups in question are – Magrip N Cold Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, and Promethazine Oral Solution.
WHO further said that the manufacturer has not provided guarantees to it on the safety and quality of these products, adding that the lab analysis of these syrups “confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants”.
Meanwhile, WHO has not provided the details about when and where these deaths took place in the West African country yet.