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Centre Opens Investigation into Alleged Deaths by Indian Syrup in Uzbekistan

Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Health Minister, informed that syrup samples were collected from the manufacturing site and forwarded to Chandigarh's Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory for analysis.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Cough Syrup
Cough Syrup (Representational Image)

India has begun a probe into the possible connection between the recent deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan and Dok-1 Max, a cold and flu remedy produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech.

A team from the Central Drug Standards Control Organization and the Uttar Pradesh Drug Control facility jointly inspected Marion Biotech's Noida facility after receiving information about the event on December 27.

Syrup samples were gathered from the manufacturing facility and sent to Chandigarh's Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory for analysis, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed via a tweet.

"Based on the inspection report, further action would be taken as necessary", he added.

Recently, the Uzbek health ministry claimed that Dok1 Max has unsafe levels of ethylene glycol (EG) present in it, which has resulted in the death of children after consuming it.

The health ministry of Uzbekistan stated that children who passed away after ingesting Dok-1 Max were suffering from serious respiratory conditions, and received doses of the syrup that were higher than the recommended amount either from their parents or on the advice of pharmacists, without a doctor's prescription.

The incident in Uzbekistan comes several weeks after news of a comparable incident in Gambia. According to reports, 69 infants in the African country perished after ingesting cough medication exported by an Indian company.

In this case, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a medical product alert noting that samples of the cough syrup had been discovered to contain pollutants in excessive levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

However, after testing was done on samples of the alleged cough and cold syrups, the government blasted the WHO, claiming the conclusion that India-made cough syrup was to blame for the deaths of children in the Gambia without any proper investigation was premature.

India stated that tests conducted at a government laboratory had discovered all of the control samples of the four products, implicated by the international body, to be in compliance with specifications in a communication to the WHO, which issued a medical product alert linking them with the death of children in the Gambia.

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