Uzbekistan has claimed that at least 18 children in the country have died after allegedly taking an India-manufactured cough syrup.
The health ministry of Uzbekistan, in a statement, said that the children who died had consumed cough syrup Doc-1 Max – manufactured by Noida-based Marion Biotech.
The laboratory tests of a batch of syrups found presence of ethylene glycol – a toxic substance in the preparation, the ministry said.
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 found that the children, before admission to hospital treatment, took this syrup at home for 2-7 days, in doses of 2.5 to 5 ml three to four times a day, which exceeds the standard dose, the ministry said.
According to the company website, the syrup is given to treat cold and flu symptoms.
After the deaths of 18 children, Doc-1 Max tablets and syrups have been withdrawn from all pharmacies in the country, the statement said, adding that seven employees were dismissed because they failed to analyse the situation in a timely manner and take necessary measures.
India is set to probe the claims that the deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan were linked to the syrup manufactured by Noida-based Marion Biotech.
The joint inquiry will be conducted by the teams of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO – north zone) and Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority, it is learnt.
A casualty assessment report has also been sought from Uzbekistan.
This is the second time in a year that India-manufactured cough syrups have come under scanner.
Earlier this year, deaths of 70 children in Gambia were linked to cough surups manufactured by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals.