India plans to issue a warning against cough syrup exported by Marion Biotech because the drug is linked to several deaths in Uzbeskitan. According to a drug inspector, test results showed the cough medicine sample contained toxic substances.
Indian police on Friday arrested three Marion employees and are looking for two other directors after tests at a government laboratory found 22 of 36 samples of the syrup “falsified and substandard.”
New Delhi is serious about handling the case even though it previously managed to ward off accusations that cough syrup made by an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, caused the death of children in Gambia last year.
Vaibhav Babbar, an inspector involved in Marion’s investigation, told Reuters that the sample has been mixed with ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. The two poisons according to the World Health Organization (World Health Organization/WHO) was found in products sold by both companies in both countries.
A total of 70 children died in Gambia and 19 in Uzbekistan.
The WHO in January said more than 300 children, mostly under the age of 5, in Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan had died in the past year from acute kidney injury linked to contaminated drugs.
The Indian government’s warning is in the form of an appeal not to provide these products anymore, even though there is no legal sanction.
Babbar said the drugs had also been exported to Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia. [ah/ft]
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