Home/ News / India/  UP cancels Marion Biotech's license, firm linked with Uzbek cough syrup deaths

Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority on Wednesday canceled the manufacturing license of Noida-based pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech, whose cough syrup Dok-1 was linked with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan, according to the news agency PTI. 

The incident which happened last December had prompted central and state drug authorities in India to launch a probe into the matter.

"The firm's license was under suspension since January after which a detailed inquiry was initiated. Now the license of the firm has been canceled by the Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority. The firm can no longer manufacture the syrup," a government official said. 

Noida Police on March 3 arrested three employees of Marion Biotech from its office in Sector 67 while a lookout notice was issued for two of its directors after an FIR was lodged against all of them, the official added. 

The FIR had come in the wake of the investigation's finding that samples of Marion Biotech's drugs were "adulterated" and "not of standard quality."

The samples were sent to the government's regional drug testing laboratory in Chandigarh and 22 of them were found to be 'not of standard quality' (adulterated and spurious), according to the FIR.

The FIR has been lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 274 (adulteration of drugs), 275 (sale of adulterated drugs), 276 (sale of drug as a different drug or medical preparation) as well as under Section 17 (misbranded drugs) and related violations of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

The production license of the firm was suspended in January after inspections at its site by the central and the state drug authorities in the wake of the controversy.

On January 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) had also issued a 'medical product alert', referring to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan and reported to it on December 22, 2022.

"The two products are Ambronol syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup. The stated manufacturer of both products is MARION BIOTECH PVT LTD, (Uttar Pradesh, India). To date, the stated manufacturer has not provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products," the WHO had stated then.

"Laboratory analysis of samples of both products, undertaken by national quality control laboratories of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and/or ethylene glycol as contaminants," it had noted.


(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 23 Mar 2023, 07:22 AM IST
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