Uzbekistan cough syrup deaths: In the latest developments to Uzbekistan cough syrup deaths, the Uttar Pradesh authorities have cancelled the manufacturing licence of Noida-based pharmaceutical firm 'Marion Biotech' on Wednesday, March 22. Dok-1, a cough syrup manufactured by Marion Biotech, was linked to the deaths of 18 kids in Uzbekistan. The incident that occurred in December 2022 spurred an investigation by the central and state narcotics authorities in India.
“The firm’s licence was under suspension since January after which a detailed inquiry was initiated. Now the licence of the firm has been cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority. The firm can no longer manufacture the syrup,” a government official said, PTI reported.
The production licence of the firm was suspended in January after inspections at its site by the central and state drug authorities in the wake of the controversy.
WHO issued a ‘medical product alert’
On January 12 this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) had also issued a ‘medical product alert’, referring to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan and reported to it on December 22, 2022.
Earlier on March 3, the Noida Police had arrested three employees of Marion Biotech from its office in Sector 67 while a lookout notice was issued for two of its directors after an FIR was lodged against all of them.
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Marion Biotech’s drugs sample found to be substandard
The FIR had come in the wake of the investigation’s finding that samples of Marion Biotech’s drugs were “adulterated” and “not of standard quality.” The samples were sent to the government’s regional drug testing laboratory in Chandigarh and 22 of them were found to be ‘not of standard quality’ (adulterated and spurious), according to the FIR.
It should be noted here that the FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 274 (adulteration of drugs), 275 (sale of adulterated drugs), 276 (sale of drug as a different drug or medical preparation) as well as under Section 17 (misbranded drugs) and related violations of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
(With PTI inputs)