India investigates cough syrups after death of 66 children in Gambia

posted on 10/07/2022 10:11 / updated 10/07/2022 10:11


(credit: MILAN BERCKMANS / AFP)

New Delhi, India-Indian authorities, alerted by the World Health Organization (WHO), are investigating four cough and cold syrups produced by a national laboratory that may have caused the death of 66 children in The Gambia.

The Indian Ministry of Health explained, in a statement published on Thursday evening, that samples of the medicines indicated by the WHO are being analyzed and that, based on the results, they will decide what measures to take.

The Indian laboratory that makes them, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, based in the northern state of Haryana, has only exported these syrups to The Gambia and does not market them in India, according to the ministry.

According to the WHO, four Indian cough and cold syrups “may be linked to acute kidney injury and the death of 66 children”.

Specifically, these are the products Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup. All are products of Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited.

The WHO informed India’s general drug regulator at the end of September.

In the technical document of the alert, the WHO indicates that “laboratory analysis of samples of each of the products confirms contamination with diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in unacceptable amounts”.

AFP contacted Maiden Pharmaceuticals to no avail.

According to the WHO, the four syrups were identified in The Gambia but may have reached other parts of Africa through irregular trade.

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