Death of 18 children in Uzbekistan by India-made syrup: Govt agencies inspect Marion Biotech’s Noida firm

Manufacturer Marion Biotech in Noida, UP. [Photo: Twitter]

New Delhi: After Uzbekistan’s Health Ministry said that Indian company Marion Biotech cough syrup was responsible for the death of 18 children, a joint inspection of the Noida facility of the manufacturer was carried out by Uttar Pradesh Drug Control and CDSCO team.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is in contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan regarding the matter, news agency IANs reported.

“Immediately on receipt of the information, joint inspection of the NOIDA facility of the manufacturer, Marion Biotech, was carried out by UP Drug Control and CDSCO team and further action as appropriate would be initiated based on the inspection report,” the report said quoting Health Ministry of India as saying.

The samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the manufacturing premises and sent to Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL), Chandigarh for testing.

Meanwhile, Marion Biotech Pharma company has said that it has sent samples of the said cough syrup for testing and has also halted the production of the product.

Marion Biotech is a licensed manufacturer and holds license for manufacturing of Dok1 Max syrup and Tablet for export purpose granted by Drugs Controller, Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier, the Health Ministry of Uzbekistan said that India-made cough syrup is behind the death of 18 children as they consumed the syrup manufactured by Indian drugmaker Marion Biotech.

According to a statement issued by the Uzbek Ministry, 18 out of 21 children who took the Doc-1 Max syrup while suffering from an acute respiratory disease died after consuming it. The syrup is marketed on the company’s website as a treatment for cold and flu symptoms.

A batch of the syrup contained ethylene glycol, which the ministry said was a toxic substance, according to a report by Reuters.

The ministry statement added that syrup was imported into Uzbekistan by Quramax Medical.

It also said the syrup was given to children at home without a doctor’s prescription, either by their parents or on the advice of pharmacists, with doses that exceeded the standard dose for children.

It was not immediately clear whether all or any of the children had consumed the suspect batch or had consumed more than the standard dose, or both.

Meanwhile, seven employees have been dismissed for negligence for not analyzing the deaths in a timely manner and not taking the necessary measures, the ministry said.

Earlier in Gambia, deaths of 70 children were linked to the cold syrups made by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals.

However, both India’s government and the company later denied the medicines were at fault.

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