The Indian government has sought the causality status regarding the deaths in Uzbekistan after the consumption of a cough syrup manufactured by an Indian company. This comes a day after the Health Ministry of Uzbekistan alleged that 18 kids have died in the country after consuming the said cough syrup.
The company in question, Marion Biotech Pvt Ltd, was registered in 2012 in Uzbekistan. As per sources in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, this particular syrup -- Dok - 1 Max syrup -- is currently not being sold in the Indian market.
Uzbekistan’s Health Ministry’s primary laboratory studies showed that this series of Doc-1 Max syrup contains ethylene glycol, the deadly chemical which was held responsible for deaths in the Gambia in the Dok-1 Max syrup.
Earlier in October, Haryana-based pharmaceutical company Maiden Pharma also came under scanner for its four syrup products which were linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
As per the Ministry of Health, ethylene glycol is toxic, and about 1-2 ml/kg of a 95 per cent concentrated solution can cause serious changes in the patient's health, such as vomiting, fainting, convulsions, cardiovascular problems and acute kidney failure.
On the basis of the relevant order of the Ministry of Health, the members of the working group conducted an official investigation on the fact with a site visit.
The ministry highlighted the results of the investigation, which showed that there are signs of a crime, all responsible employees were fired, the materials were transferred to law enforcement agencies.
Tablets and syrup Doc-1 Max manufactured by the Indian company Marion Biotech in the country were registered in 2012 and went on sale in the same year. According to the Agency for the Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry, each drug series was tested with the subsequent issuance of a certificate of conformity. This drug was imported into the country by Quramax Medical LLC.
To date, reportedly 18 out of 21 children with acute respiratory disease have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup.
It was found that the deceased children, before admission to hospital treatment, took 2.5-5 ml of this drug at home for 2-7 days 3-4 times a day, which exceeds the standard dose of the drug for children. Furthermore, all children were reportedly given the drug without a doctor's prescription.
As the main component of the drug is paracetamol, Doc-1 Max syrup was incorrectly used by parents as an anti-cold remedy on their own or on the recommendation of pharmacy sellers. And this was the reason for the deterioration of the condition of patients.
The ministry also highlighted that seven responsible employees were dismissed from their positions due to the fact that they were negligent and inattentive to their duties, did not analyze child mortality in a timely manner and did not take the necessary measures, also disciplinary measures were applied to a number of specialists.
Currently, tablets and syrups of the drug Doc-1 Max are withdrawn from sale in all pharmacies of the country in the prescribed manner.
The ministry has further asked parents to be attentive to the health of their children, to purchase medicines in pharmacies only by prescription.
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