5 December 2022

New Delhi : India’s drug regulator has initiated a probe and sought further details from the WHO after the glob al health body issued an alert that cough syrups manufactured by an Indian firm could potentially be linked to the death of children in Gambia .

The World Health Organisation ( WHO ) on Wednesday warned that four ‘ contaminated ‘ and ‘ substandard ‘ cough syrups allegedly produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited based in Haryana’s Sonepat could be the reason for the deaths in the West African nation .

Gambia Deaths : DCGI Initiates Investigation
Gambia Deaths : DCGI Initiates Investigation

Haryana’s health minister Anil Vij on Thursday said samples of four cough syrups manufactured by the firm have been sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination .

” The samples have been collected by a team of the DCGA and Haryana’s Food and Drugs Administration Department and sent to the CDL , Kolkata for examination , ” Vij said . He said a senior official of Centre’s Department of Pharmaceuticals spoke with Haryana’s additional chief secretary ( health ) . Government sources had said the exact ” one – to one causal relation of death ” has neither been provided by the UN health agency nor the details of labels and products been shared by it with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation enabling it to confirm the identity or source of the manufacturing of the products .

” Based on available in formation , the CDSCO has already taken up an urgent investigation into the matter with regulatory authorities in Haryana . While all required steps will be taken , as a robust regulatory authority , the WHO has been re quested to share with CDSCO at the earliest the re port on the establishment of a causal relation to the deaths with the medical products in question , photo graphs of labels / products etc , ” a source said .

According to the sources , the WHO had on September 29 informed the Drugs Controller General of India that it was providing technical assistance and advice to Gambia .

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