The vice president of the Standing National Committee on Medicines & Health Care Products, Dr YK Gupta, on Saturday dismissed the fears about the cough syrups by Maiden Pharmaceuticals company that allegedly resulted in the deaths of 66 children in the Gambia and said that that the licence for the drug was for export only, adding that Indian cough syrups “don’t have this possibility”.

“Medicines produced in India now are known for their quality in the international market, it’s wrong to question the quality of Indian medicines because of one incident. Our regulatory body is strong and we have zero tolerance for such things,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He further said that even though the first death related to the incident was reported in July, WHO informed the regulator in India only on September 29, adding that the government is yet to receive a complete causality assessment. He also said that out of 23 samples tested, 4 were found to contain toxic chemicals diethylene glycol/ethylene glycol and said “missing links must be probed.”

Also Read | Gambia deaths: Experts question safety norms after WHO alarm

Gambia alleged that kidney injuries linked to India-made paracetamol syrup caused 66 child deaths in the past three months. Its President Adama Barrow on Friday said that the situation is presently under control with only two diagnoses in the last two weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a medical product alert on Wednesday over four medicines Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup – made by the Indian firm Maiden Pharmaceuticals, labelling them as “substandard medical products.”

Following the alert, the Union health ministry issued a statement saying an investigation has been launched into the matter.

By Shadab

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