The Health Minister of Uzbekistan said in a statement yesterday that the death of 18 Uzebik Children was due to the consumption of Doc-1 Max cough syrup manufactured in India by Noida-based Marion Biotech.
What happened in Uzbekistan?
In Uzbekistan several children who were taking the alleged cough syrup as an anti-cold remedy were later hospitalized due to serious complications. They were taking the dose of syrup 2.5ml to 5ml, 3 to 4 times a day.
It is also clear that the dose exceeded the normal prescription standard.
Another fact came to light that the children were given this syrup at home without a qualified doctor’s standard prescription. The syrup was prescribed by the pharmacist and the doses also exceeded the normal level for children.
The children were consuming the alleged syrup for more than 5 days.
After the incident, the Uzbekistan Health Ministry conducted laboratory tests of that batch of alleged syrup and found that the syrup contain “the evident presence of ethylene glycol”, a toxic chemical substance.
After the incident of 18 children’s deaths, the Uzbekistan government ordered the withdrawal of the Doc-1 Max tablets and syrups from all the pharmacies across the country with immediate effect. The alleged product is no longer fit for sale in the country.
In due time at least Seven employees were arrested for not handling and analyzing the situation properly.
Proceedings in India after Uzbekistan incident.
After the incident took place, India launched an investigation into the matter. The manufacturer ordered to halt the manufacturing of the product until further notice. A sample is collected from the Noida unit in Uttar Pradesh.
Marion biotech, the manufacturing company is cooperating in the proceedings.
Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) North Zone and Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority conducted a joint inquiry into this matter.
The authority in India has also sought further casualty assessment reports from Uzbekistan.
Earlier Gambia now Uzbekistan and syrup tragedy
This is the second incident within a year that the Indian manufacturer of cough syrup has come under the radar. A few months back, at least 70 children died from the alleged consumption of an Indian manufacturer of cough syrup in Gambia.
The manufacturer company was Harayana-based Maiden pharmaceuticals.
The laboratory analysis of Maiden cough syrup confirmed the unusual amount of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic and cause chronic kidney problems, according to WHO.
But in a response to WHO, Drugs Controller General, VG Somani that after testing the Maiden’s syrup at government laboratories it had been found that no toxic chemicals were present in the alleged product.
But the Central Drugs Standards Control Organization shut down the Sonipat manufacturing unit of the Maiden manufacturer in October following the incident.
The case of the Uzbekistan tragedy.
In the Uzbekistan tragedy, the Health Ministry in a statement identifies two factors behind the death of the children — unacceptable doses of the medicine in children who didn’t actually require the medicine and the presence of ethylene glycol — one of the two toxic chemicals found in the Gambian cases already.
it is also said that “All children were consuming the drug without an adequate doctor’s prescription. Doc-1 Max syrup was improperly used by parents as an anti-cold remedy without the proper prescription and on the advice of a local pharmacist. And that is why the health condition of the children become worst,” the Uzbek Ministry said.
According to the present data, this was not the first time that harmful substances like ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol were found in cough syrups made in India, as there have been many similar cases in the past with fatal consequences but this is still in the repetitive mode.