Uzbekistan links death of 18 kids to Noida-made cough syrup
India launched a probe into a Noida-based drugs manufacturer on Tuesday after the deaths of 18 kids in Uzbekistan were linked with a syrup the firm made. As per a Hindustan Times report, the State Security Service (SSS) initiated a criminal probe into the case after numerous kids took the Dok-1 Max tablets and syrup manufactured by Marion Biotech and died.
Why does this story matter?
- On October 5, World Health Organization (WHO) released an alert over four cough syrups, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Magrip N Cold Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Promethazine Oral Solution made and shipped by Indian company Maiden Pharma.
- The latest deaths come just months after Maiden Biotech manufactured cough syrups were linked to the deaths of 70 individuals in The Gambia.
Children consumed Marion Biotech's Dok-1 Max Syrup
Uzbekistan health ministry stated in an official release that 18 out of 21 kids died after consuming Noida-based Marion Biotech's Dok-1 Max Syrup. "It was found that the deceased children, before admission to hospital treatment, took this drug at home for 2-7 days 3-4 times a day, 2.5-5 ml, which exceeds the standard dose of the drug for children," a release stated.
Ethylene Glycol chemical found in Marion Biotech syrup
As per the local media, the Ethylene Glycol chemical was discovered in the syrup during lab testing. Ethylene Glycol is a common contaminant in most pharma products manufactured without adequate safeguards, which is why another Indian company, named Haryana-based Maiden Pharma, is under scrutiny.
What State Security Service said on the matter
"On the fact of the death of 18 children, which occurred as a result of taking the drug Doc-1 Max, a criminal case was initiated against officials of Quramax Medical (importer of the drug) and State Center for Expertise and Standardization of Medicines... under Article 186-3 of the Criminal Code," the State Security Service stated in an official release.
Here's all you need to know about Ethylene Glycol
Ethylene Glycol (EG) and Diethylene glycol (DEG) are both highly toxic, colorless, and viscous liquids with a sweetish flavor. According to the Centers for Disease Control, both chemicals are often found in glycerin as contaminants and used as a sweetener in producing numerous pharmaceutical syrups. Upon being cautioned, the central drugs regulatory unit contacted the Uttar Pradesh drugs licensing authority to start a probe.
Investigation over sample testing underway
The central drugs regulatory unit of the north zone and the UP drugs regulatory squad conducted a joint inspection to take samples of the drugs in question.
Dok-1 Max tablets and syrups withdrawn
Seven employees were dismissed from their posts for being inattentive and negligent in their duties, and disciplinary measures were applied to numerous specialists. Dok-1 Max tablets and syrups are currently withdrawn from sale all over the nation in the prescribed manner. The ministry urged parents to be attentive to their kids' health and to buy medications in drugstores only by prescription.