WHO Issues Alert About India-made Cough Syrups After Children’s Deaths in Uzbekistan

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The two cough syrups – Ambronol and Dok 1 Max – are produced by Noida-based company Marion Biotech Limited.

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that two cough syrups made by Noida-based company Marion Biotech should not be used for children in Uzbekistan.

“This WHO Medical Product Alert refers to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan and reported to WHO on 22 December 2022. Substandard medical products are products that fail to meet quality standards or specifications and are therefore out of specification,” the WHO said in an alert released on its website.

“The two products are AMBRONOL syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup. The stated manufacturer of both products is MARION BIOTECH PVT. LTD, (Uttar Pradesh, India). To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products,” the alert added.

On December 27, Uzbekistan’s health ministry had said that 18 children died after consuming Dok 1 Max syrup manufactured by Noida-based company Marion Biotech Limited.

According to WHO, laboratory analysis of samples of cough syrups, undertaken by national quality control laboratories of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and /or ethylene glycol as contaminants.

“Both of these products may have marketing authorisations in other countries in the region. They may also have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions,” the WHO alert added.

The UN health agency added that “the substandard products referenced in this Alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death.”

The World Health Organization also said that it was important to detect and remove the two cough syrups from circulation to prevent harm to patients.

The Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration department has already suspended the production licence of Marion Biotech company linked to Uzbekistan’s deaths of 18 children.

A drug official in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday told PTI that an order about suspending Marion Biotech’s production licence had been issued to the firm on January 10.

In October, the World Heath Organization had issued another global alert for medicines manufactured in India. The alert was for four cough syrup brands manufactured by Haryana-based Maiden pharmaceuticals.

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Photo: Reuters

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