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Cough syrup linked deaths: Manufacturing activities stopped at Noida pharma firm

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India is in touch with the Uzbek authorities and has sought details of their investigation into the matter. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also said consular assistance is being provided to some linked to the company who are facing legal action there.

Reported By: PTI Noida Updated on: December 30, 2022 15:01 IST
Samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the
Image Source : FILE Samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the manufacturing premises in Noida and sent to the Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL) in Chandigarh for testing.

All manufacturing activities at Marion Biotech's Noida unit were stopped in view of reports of contamination of its cough syrup Dok-1 Max, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Friday. Further investigation in connection with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan allegedly linked to the cough syrup is going on, he said in a tweet.

"Following inspection by @CDSCO_INDIA_INF (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) team in view of reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max, all manufacturing activities of Marion Biotech at NOIDA unit have been stopped yesterday night, while further investigation is ongoing," Mandaviya tweeted.

The company's legal representative had said on Thursday that the manufacture of Dok-1 Max has stopped 'for now.' Mandaviya said that further action would be taken based on the inspection of the pharma company. Marion Biotech does not sell Dok-1 Max in India and its only export has been to Uzbekistan, an Uttar Pradesh government official had said.

Samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the manufacturing premises in Noida and sent to the Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL) in Chandigarh for testing, Mandaviya said. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), he had said, was in regular contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan regarding the matter since December 27.

What MEA said:

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India is in touch with the Uzbek authorities and has sought details of their investigation into the matter. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also said consular assistance is being provided to some linked to the company who are facing legal action there. Noting that the Uzbek authorities have not formally taken up the matter with New Delhi, he had said, "Nevertheless, our embassy has contacted the Uzbek side and is seeking further details of their investigation."

Marion Biotech is a licensed manufacturer and holds the licence for manufacturing Dok-1 Max syrup and tablet for export purposes granted by the Drugs Controller, Uttar Pradesh, the health ministry said in a statement. The governments of both countries are looking into the matter, said Hasan Harris, legal representative of the Noida-based Marion Biotech."There is no problem from our end and no issue in testing. We have been there for the past 10 years. Once the government report will come, we will look into it. For now the manufacturing has stopped," Harris had told PTI.

Before Uzbekistan's claims, there were reports linking the deaths of 70 children in Gambia to cough syrups manufactured by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals earlier this year. The Drugs Controller General of India had claimed that the WHO drew a premature link.

ALSO READ | 'Cough syrup responsible for killing 18 children in Uzbekistan was not sold in India, only exported'

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