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Uzbekistan cough syrup deaths: Marion Biotech halts manufacturing; drugs controller launches probe

Uzbekistan cough syrup deaths: Marion Biotech halts manufacturing; drugs controller launches probe

In a statement, the Uzbekistan health ministry said the children who died had consumed the Dok-1 Max Syrup produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech. Eighteen children with acute respiratory disease are believed to have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup.

Dok-1 Max syrup and tablets are used as anti-cold medication in Uzbekistan Dok-1 Max syrup and tablets are used as anti-cold medication in Uzbekistan

A day after the Uzbekistan government claimed that 18 children died in the country after consuming medicines manufactured by Noida-based Marion Biotech, officials from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) reportedly inspected the manufacturing facility on Wednesday night and collected samples of the Dok 1-Max cough syrup from the plant. The samples have been sent to Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL), Chandigarh, for testing contamination and a probe has been initiated in the case 

Marion Biotech on Thursday said that it regrets the deaths allegedly caused due to its cough syrup and that the manufacturing of the product has been halted, PTI reported.  

Hasan Harris, the legal representative of Marion Biotech, said the governments of both countries are looking into the matter and inquiring.  

In a statement, the Uzbekistan health ministry said the children who died had consumed the Dok-1 Max Syrup produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech. Eighteen children with acute respiratory disease are believed to have died as a result of taking Doc-1 Max syrup. 

Speaking on the matter, Harris, who is representing Marion Biotech, said: “There is no problem from our end and no issue in testing. We have been there for the past ten years. Once the government report will come, we will look into it. For now, the manufacturing has stopped.”  

“It was found that the deceased children, before admission to hospital treatment, took this drug at home for 2-7 days 3-4 times a day, 2.5-5 ml, which exceeds the standard dose of the drug for children,” the statement noted. 

Uzbekistan said that tested samples of Dok-1 Max contained Ethylene Glycol. Dok-1 Max syrup and tablets are used as anti-cold medication in the country. The syrup contains Ethylene Glycol, which is a toxic substance found in industrial-grade glycerine and is not permitted for medicinal purposes. The chemical affects the circulatory system and causes vomiting, among other things. Consuming ethylene glycol can lead to convulsions and renal failure. 

Also read: Govt seeks causality status after Indian syrup linked to deaths of 18 kids in Uzbekistan

Besides, the syrup also had paracetamol, the ministry said, adding that parents incorrectly used it as an anti-cold remedy on the recommendation of local pharmacies.  

All about Marion Biotech 

Marion Biotech has a plant in Noida and caters to the domestic and global markets. The company describes itself as a dynamic ‘Health Care Company’ committed to offering the best Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Herbals & Cosmetic products through a high level of persistent Research & Development. Its overview on its LinkedIn page says the company is a flagship company of the Emenox Group, currently headed by directors Sachin Jain and Jaya Jain. 

The company, which has now blocked its official website, was incorporated on May 21, 1999. The authorised share capital of the company is Rs 2.50 crore and the paid-up is Rs 2.27 crore, as per the Registrar of Companies. 

As per its LinkedIn description, Marion Biotech has a manufacturing unit in Noida, where it manufactures products for the Indian market and exports to various countries across the globe in CIS (Russia and ex-Soviet Republics), South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 

(With PTI inputs)

Published on: Dec 29, 2022, 12:46 PM IST
Posted by: Basudha Das, Dec 29, 2022, 12:39 PM IST