WHO alerts on 4 Indian cough syrups after 66 children die in Gambia
The World Health Organization yesterday (October 5, 2022) issued an alert over four cough and cold syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals of India, warning they could be linked to acute kidney injuries and deaths of 66 children in Gambia, Africa.
The four products are Promethazine oral solution, Kofex baby cough syrup, Makoff baby cough syrup and Magrip N Cold syrup, our New Delhi correspondent quoting Indian media reports.
"Laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants," the WHO said.
The WHO said it is conducting further investigation with the company and regulatory authorities in India.
Addressing a press conference in Geneva, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while the contaminated products have so far only been detected in Gambia, they may have been distributed to other countries," said at a press conference yesterday.
A Reuters report said the Indian company declined to comment on the matter.
After the WHO alert, India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has launched an "urgent" investigation into the issue, ANI reported today.
"Urgent investigation in the matter has been already taken up by CDSCO with the State Regulatory Authorities immediately after receiving communication from WHO based on the available information.
"While all required steps will be taken in the matter, as a robust National Regulatory Authority, WHO has been requested to share at the earliest with CDSCO the report on the establishment of causal relation to death with the medical products in question, photographs of Labels/ products etc. which is awaited," ANI reported, citing unidentified sources.
Preliminary investigation shows Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited is a Haryana state-based manufacturer licensed by the State Drug Controller for the products, ANI said adding the company has made and exported these products only to Gambia so far.