Haryana government has sent samples of four cough syrups manufactured by a Sonipat-based firm to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination, state Health Minister Anil Vij said Thursday, a day after the World Health Organization warned that the medicine may be linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
“The samples have been collected by a team of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGA) and Haryana’s Food and Drugs Administration Department and sent to the CDL, Kolkata for examination,” Vij said.
The WHO on Wednesday warned that four “contaminated” and “substandard” cough syrups allegedly produced by Sonipat-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited could be the reason for the deaths of children in the West African nation. A probe has already been initiated by DCGI, the drug regulator of India.
Vij said a senior official of Centre’s Department of Pharmaceuticals spoke with Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Health).
Vij said, “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 on whether the deaths that happened in The Gambia were because of these medicines or due to some other reason”.
When asked about the matter at a news conference, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the Centre was looking into this issue.
While the drugmaker is yet to issue a statement, its website mentions they have been manufacturing and supplying medicines for over 30 years. “Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd has committed teams in every department, especially the research and development department, which produces reliable and high-quality products… We pride ourselves on endeavors to respond to your scientific needs with a sense of urgency and timelines… Our sincere efforts of practicing and providing high-quality products are recognized by national & international certifying agencies that have honored us with ISO 9001:2000 and WHO GMP certificate,” mentions the website.