There is an ongoing global threat posed by toxic cough syrups, the World Health Organization (WHO) told Reuters, saying it was now working with six more countries than previously revealed to track the potentially deadly children’s medicines.
Any cough syrup must have a certificate of analysis issued by a government laboratory before it is exported, effective June 1, the government said in a notice dated May 22 and shared by the health ministry.
Contaminated cough syrup made by an Indian company has been found in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, after a spate of child deaths linked to other syrups in some countries last year.
Indian officials are in contact with foreign authorities and have held meetings in Africa to ensure its drug exports do not suffer, the government said on Wednesday, after Indian-made cough syrups were linked to deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan.
India directed drug manufacturers to stop using propylene glycol sourced from the Delhi-based firm that supplied the ingredient to Marion Biotech, whose cough syrups were linked to deaths of 19 children in Uzbekistan, according to a government document seen by Reuters.
India may issue an alert on cough syrup exported by Marion Biotech, whose products have been linked to deaths in Uzbekistan, after tests showed many of the company’s drug samples contained toxins, a drug inspector said on Saturday.
India will spend $79.6 million on strengthening its drug regulatory system, the health minister said on Friday, after the World Health Organization raised concerns about domestically produced cough syrups being linked to the death of 89 children in two countries.
Indonesian police said on Monday a local trader of industrial-grade chemicals sold them as pharmaceutical-grade, leading to their use in medicated syrups that authorities suspect may have caused deaths of more than 200 children across the country.
Last year more than 300 children – mainly aged under 5 – died of acute kidney injury, deaths that were associated with contaminated medicines, the WHO said in a statement.