A recent investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified 20 contaminated cough syrups that have been associated with nearly 300 deaths worldwide. These toxic medicines have originated from two countries, namely India and Indonesia. The entire range of toxic medicines flagged in the investigation are in syrup form, encompassing cough medicine, paracetamol, and vitamins. Among them are the 15 previously identified contaminated syrups, with seven of them being produced in India by Maiden Pharmaceuticals (4) based in Haryana, Marion Biotech (2) based in Noida, and QP Pharmachem (1) based in Punjab. The remaining contaminated syrups originated from Indonesia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued "medical product alerts" concerning the 15 medicines in several countries. In Gambia and Uzbekistan, these syrups, which were manufactured in India, were associated with a minimum of 88 fatalities last year. Similar alerts were also raised in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Additionally, an alert was issued in Indonesia, where the domestically sold syrups were linked to the deaths of over 200 children.
In June of this year, the Nigerian drug controller issued an alert following the discovery of Diethylene Glycol or Ethylene Glycol contamination in a Paracetamol syrup being sold in Liberia. The syrup in question was produced by a company based in Mumbai.
In response to an email inquiry from The Indian Express, Christian Lindmeier, the spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that the 20 identified products were produced by a total of "15 different manufacturers" operating in the two countries.
Source: The Indian Express