India-made cough syrups may be tied to 66 deaths in Gambia: WHO | Business and Economy News

WHO also issued a health product warning asking regulators to remove Maiden Pharma products from the market.

The the deaths of dozens of children in the Gambia The World Health Organization said on Wednesday the World Health Organization said the kidney injury could be linked to tainted cough and cold syrup made by an Indian drugmaker.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the UN agency was conducting an investigation together with Indian regulators and drug maker Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd. based in New Delhi.

Maiden Pharma declined to comment on the warning, while calls and Reuters messages to India’s Narcotics Control-General went unanswered. The Gambia and Indian ministries of health also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

WHO also issued a health product warning asking regulators to remove Maiden Pharma products from the market.

The products may have been distributed elsewhere through unofficial markets, but have so far been identified only in Gambia, the WHO said in its warning.

The warning includes four products – Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup.

Laboratory analysis confirmed “unacceptable” amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic when consumed, the WHO said. Last month, the Gambia Government said it was also investigating the deaths, due to a spike in acute kidney injuries in children under the age of 5 detected at the end of July.

Health officials in the Gambia sounded the alarm in July, after some children started falling ill with kidney problems three to five days after taking a locally sold paracetamol syrup. . By August 28 people had died, but health authorities say the number is likely to rise. Now 66 people have died, the WHO said on Wednesday.

The deaths have rocked the small West African nation, which is facing multiple medical emergencies including measles and malaria.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals manufactures the drug at its facilities in India, then sells it domestically as well as exports to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to the company’s website.


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