The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against the use of two Indian-made cough syrups manufactured by Marion Biotech on children.
“Cough syrups made by India’s Marion Biotech should not be used for children, after the products were linked to 19 deaths in Uzbekistan,” WHO said in a statement.
“The two products are AMBRONOL syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup. The stated manufacturer of both products is Marion Biotech (Uttar Pradesh, India). Laboratory analysis found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and /or ethylene,” it said.
In December, the health ministry of Uzbekistan claimed that as many as 18 children have lost their lives in the country after consuming medicines manufactured by an Indian pharmaceutical company.
“This WHO Medical Product Alert refers to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan and reported to WHO on December 22, 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.
“Both of these products may have marketing authorizations 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 Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration department has suspended the production licence of Marion Biotech company linked to deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan.
“We have suspended the production license of Marion Biotech company after not providing enough documents. A show-cause notice was also given by the state licensing authority depending upon the documents asked during the inspection which they didn’t provide,” said Gautam Buddh Nagar Drug inspector Vaibhav Babbar.
This comes months after WHO issued an alert for four “contaminated” cough syrups manufactured by an Indian drugmaker, Maiden Pharma, that have been “potentially linked” with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children in Gambia.