New Delhi: The Centre has clarified that the four cough syrups manufactured by an Indian firm, suspected to have caused the death of 66 children in the Gambia, were not so far distributed in India.
The samples of the same batch of cough syrups exported will be tested at the Regional Drug Testing Lab. The government has requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to share the results of the testing done by it, the Union Health Ministry said.
Meanwhile, the authorities in the West African nation have started a door-to-door campaign to stop the usage of the cough syrups in the wake of unnatural deaths. The drugs have already been banned in the Gambia, while certain other countries issued an alert over their usage.
Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexnalin Baby Cough Syrup, and MaKoff Baby Cough Syrup, all used for treating allergies, breathing difficulty, and cold, and the MaGrip Syrup for cold are the ones alerted by the WHO. The same are manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals, based in Sonipat, Haryana.
Though the company was allowed to manufacture the drugs in India, no permission was granted to distribute the brands in the country, and they were only exported, the Haryana Drugs Controller said. The Gambia was the only country that imported the drugs of the controversial Pharmaceutical firm.
The WHO on Wednesday issued an alert over the four cough syrups, warning they could be linked to acute kidney injuries and the deaths of 66 children in the Gambia. Out of the 23 samples tested by it, four were found to have the presence of the poisonous substance ethylene glycol.
The Union Health Ministry pointed out that the countries importing the drugs should test the quality before allowing the medicine distribution.