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WHO recommends against using Noida-based Marion Biotech's cough syrups in Uzbekistan following series of death

Cough syrup row: According to WHO, laboratory analysis of samples of cough syrups found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and/or ethylene glycol as contaminants.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Geneva Updated on: January 12, 2023 11:06 IST
Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said
Image Source : FILE Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that all manufacturing activities of the Noida-based pharma company have been stopped in view of the reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max.

Cough syrup row: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday recommended not to use two cough syrups for children in Uzbekistan produced by Noida-based company Marion Biotech. WHO said that the 'medical products failed to meet quality standards or specifications.'

According to a medical product alert issued by the health watchdog, "This WHO Medical Product Alert refers to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan and reported to WHO on 22 December 2022. Substandard medical products are products that fail to meet quality standards or specifications and are therefore out of specification."

"The two products are AMBRONOL syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup. The stated manufacturer of both products is MARION BIOTECH PVT. LTD, (Uttar Pradesh, India). To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products," the alert added. 

Noida-based pharma Marion Biotech has come under fire after reports emerged about the death of children after consuming cough syrup came in from Uzbekistan.

According to WHO, laboratory analysis of samples of cough syrups, undertaken by national quality control laboratories of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and/or ethylene glycol as contaminants. 

"Both of these products may have marketing authorizations in other countries in the region. They may also have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions," the WHO alert added. The UN health agency added that 'the substandard products referenced in this Alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death.'

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

"We have suspended the production license of Marion Biotech company after not providing enough documents, show-cause notice was also given by the state licensing authority depending upon the documents asked during the inspection which they didn't provide," said Gautam Buddh Nagar Drug inspector Vaibhav Babbar. He further said that sample results are still pending. 

Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that all manufacturing activities of the Noida-based pharma company have been stopped in view of the reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max. 

What is the 'cough syrup linked deaths' case?

On December 22, Uzbekistan alleged that 18 children had died after consuming medicines manufactured by Marion Biotech company. On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration department suspended the production licence of Marion Biotech company linked to Uzbekistan's deaths of 18 children.

(With inputs from ANI)

ALSO READ | WHO report on Gambian deaths linked to Indian cough syrups

ALSO READ | Indian-made cough syrups did not cause Gambia children deaths, DCGI informs WHO

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