Home / News / India /  Samples sent for testing: Haryana min Anil Vij on cough syrups flagged by WHO

The cough syrups, manufactured by a Sonipat-based firm that WHO warned to be "contaminated" and "substandard", are not available for sale or marketing in the country, Health Minister Anil Vij said Thursday. He also notified that samples of the same have been sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination. This comes a day after the WHO alerted that the use of medicines could have caused the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.

"The samples have been collected by a team of the DCGA and Haryana's Food and Drugs Administration Department and sent to the CDL, Kolkata for examination," Vij told PTI over phone on Thursday.

The state health minister also said that the cough syrups manufactured by the pharma company were approved for export. "It is not available for sale or marketing in the country."

"Whatever action has to be taken will be taken once the CDL report comes. Only after the report is in, we can arrive at any conclusion," Vij said.

Meanwhile, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists said on Thursday that there is no supply of drugs in India. The association, however, assured that they will follow the guidelines, if any, issued by the Drugs Controller General of India related to the drug manufacturer, reported news agency ANI.

“There is no supply of Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited drugs in India, they only export their products, still, if any guideline is issued by the Drugs Controller General of India we will follow those guidelines," ANI quoted AIOCD as saying.

Yet to be known whether deaths happened actually because of these medicines

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the Centre was looking into this issue. “When an international issue in involved, the Government of India deals with it and they are dealing with it," he said.

However, he added, “So far, we do not have information on whether the deaths happened actually because of these medicines or due to some other reasons."

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said that four "contaminated" and "substandard" cough syrups allegedly produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited could be the reason for the deaths of children in the West African nation.

The WHO has listed Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup as substandard paediatric medicines because they had “unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants."

Following this, India's drug regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has initiated a probe into the matter.

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