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Indian authorities, alerted by the World Health Organization (WHO), are investigating four cough and cold syrups produced by a local laboratory that may have killed 66 children in Gambia.
India's health ministry said in a statement on Thursday evening that samples of the WHO-designated syrups are being tested, adding that the results would “guide further action”. < /p>
The Indian laboratory that produces them, Maiden Pharmaceuticals based in the state of Haryana, only exported these syrups to Gambia and does not sell them in India, the Indian ministry said in its statement. release.
According to the WHO, four Indian cough and cold syrups “may have been linked to acute kidney injury and the deaths of 66 children”.
WHO has informed the Comptroller General of Medicines of India of these deaths at the end of September.
“WHO is conducting an investigation with the company and the regulatory authorities in India,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO.
The WHO-designated products are Promethazine Oral Solution Syrup, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup, all manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals.
The Indian Ministry of Health has in in addition asked the WHO to communicate to him its report relating to “the establishment of a cause and effect relationship between the deaths and the drugs in question”, still according to its press release.
L The WHO indicated in its alert that “laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirmed contamination by diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in unacceptable quantities”.
The Maiden Pharmaceuticals laboratory requested by AFP did not respond immediately.
According to the WHO, the four contaminated drugs were identified in The Gambia but could have been distributed, through informal markets, elsewhere in Africa.
As a precautionary measure, the WHO recommends that all countries detect and remove these drugs from circulation.
The recall should also apply to importers, wholesalers and retailers of drugs, including hospitals.