New Delhi: Pharmaceutical Firm Marion Biotech Pharma Company’s legal head on Friday said that the manufacturing of its cough syrup has been halted after Uzbekistan linked the deaths of 18 children to the product.
“We regret deaths, govt is conducting enquiry. We’ll take action as per report. Samples were collected. Manufacturing of that product has been halted as of now & other processes are underway,” Hasan Raza, Marion Biotech Pharma Company legal head, said, as per news agency ANI.
The Congress on Thursday demanded the “strictest” action against the Uzbekistan government’s claim. Taking to Twitter, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said: “Made in India cough syrups seem to be deadly. First it was the deaths of 70 kids in Gambia & now it is that of 18 children in Uzbekistan. Modi Sarkar must stop boasting about India being a pharmacy to the world & take strictest action.”
The Uzbekistan government has alleged that 18 children have died following the consumption of cough syrup produced by Marion Biotech. “To date, 18 out of 21 children with acute respiratory disease have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup manufactured by the Indian company Marion Biotech Pvt Ltd,” the Uzbekistan Health Ministry mentioned in a statement, as quoted by news agency IANS.
“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,” it added. The press statement from the Uzbekistan Health Ministry identified two factors behind the tragedy — excess doses of the medicine in kids who don’t require the drug and contamination of ethylene glycol — one of the two toxic chemicals found in the Gambian case.
“All children were given the drug without a doctor’s prescription. Since the main component of the drug is paracetamol, Doc-1 Max syrup was incorrectly used by parents as an anti-cold remedy on their own or the recommendation of pharmacy sellers.
This was the reason for the deterioration of the condition of patients,” the Uzbek Ministry stated.”Preliminary laboratory studies have shown that this series of Doc-1 Max syrup contains ethylene glycol.
This substance is toxic, and about 1-2 ml/kg of a 95% concentrated solution can cause serious changes in the patient’s health, such as vomiting, fainting, convulsions, cardiovascular problems and acute kidney failure,” Uzbekistan authorities mentioned, as per IANS.
The World Health Organization in October flagged the presence of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol as toxic contaminants in four cough syrup samples (made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals, Haryana) that are reportedly linked to the deaths of 70 children in The Gambia.