Indian company Maiden Pharmaceuticals, producers of cough syrup connected to the deaths of 70 children in the Gambia, have been found wanting.
According to Indian regulators, Maiden Pharmaceuticals broke the rules “across its manufacturing and testing activities.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global notice earlier this month after discovering a link between four of Maiden’s cough syrups and the death of over 70 children.
Investigations have commenced in both India and Gambia, and regulators say operations have been indefinitely suspended in the New Delhi-based firm after they were found to have broken some safety rules.
This was “in view of the seriousness of the contraventions observed during the investigation and its potential risk to the quality, safety and efficacy of the drug being produced,” they added.
The medicines identified by WHO are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
The WHO said that its laboratory analysis of the said medicines “confirm that they contain inappropriate quantities of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.”
The substances were deadly, and their effects “can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death,” it added.
How The Toxic Cough Syrups Got Into The Gambia
The WHO added in the alert published on its website that these four products were shipped into the Gambia but “may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions.”
The body warned that these syrups might cause acute kidney injury and can lead to death, especially in children.
The Gambia is a popular tourist destination. In late July, medical authorities noticed an upsurge in the number of instances of acute renal damage among children under the age of five, which prompted the WHO’s intervention. Authorities say the cough syrups were shipped into the country by a US-based company.
According to the statement, most of the 50,000 bottles of poisonous syrup that were imported into the nation have already been confiscated.
Mothers of the late children are currently demanding justice, and the President of The Gambia Adama Barrow said authorities would “leave no stone unturned” in their investigation.
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