18 children die after consuming Indian cough syrup: Uzbekistan Suggests That Indian-Made Syrup Is to Blame for Deaths

Uzbekistan’s health ministry said the children died after consuming Doc-1 Max cough syrup made by Noida-based Marian Biotech pharmaceutical company.

  • An Indian company’s cough syrup caused 18 children to pass away.
  • The Uzbekistan Ministry of Health has asked the Indian government for a comprehensive investigation.
  • The company has stopped manufacturing cough syrup; the Center has started an investigation.

Uzbekistan has alleged that at least 18 children in the country have died after consuming cough syrup made in India. The Ministry of Health there has instructed the Government of India to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

According to Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health, laboratory tests revealed the presence of a deadly chemical called ethylene glycol in the syrups. It is a poisonous substance. After consuming this medicine, the children were admitted to the hospital due to respiratory problems. The same chemical was also responsible for the death of children in the Gambia in the past. A report on this has been submitted to the World Health Organization through e-mail. The Health Department of Uzbekistan said that a high-level investigation has been ordered.

The government of Uzbekistan alleged that the children were given doses of the syrup beyond the prescribed amount on the advice of parents or pharmacists without a doctor’s prescription. Children were found to have taken this syrup 2.5 to 5 ml 3 – 4 times a day at home for 2 to 7 days before hospital admission. The Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan said that it exceeded the standard amount. This syrup was used by parents as an anti-cold remedy.

Doc-1 Max tablets and syrup have been withdrawn from all pharmacies in the country after the deaths of 18 children. The statement said 7 employees were fired for failing to analyze the situation in time and take action. It is learned that the teams of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO – north zone) and Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority are conducting a joint inquiry in this regard.

Speaking at a regular media briefing, spokesperson for the external affairs ministry Arindam Bagchi called the deaths of the 18 children in Uzbekistan “unfortunate.” “The Uzbek government hasn’t formally raised the issue with us; however our embassy has spoken to the Uzbek side and is requesting further information about their investigation”, he added.

The #MadeinIndia hashtag was trending on social media after Uzbekistan’s accusation. Taking this seriously, the Indian government has started an investigation. Further, production of cough syrup at Marian Biotech’s Noida unit has been halted until samples are tested.

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