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Indian cough medicine alert: WHO stands by its decision!

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that it stands by its decision of issuing a notice about the aforementioned drug as the controversy over the deaths of Gambian children who were attributed to some Indian cough syrups worsens. This happened when India informed the WHO that samples from the Indian pharmaceutical company Maiden Pharma, whose products were linked to child fatalities in the Gambia, had been determined to match the requisite criteria.

In a letter dated December 13 to the world health organisation, India’s medicines controller general, VG Somani, stated that testing done on samples of Maiden Pharma’s products ‘had been determined to be compliant with specifications’.¬†Additionally, the letter said that samples were not, as had been claimed, contaminated with ethylene and diethylene glycol.

The health organisation spoke with BBC via email and said ‘WHO is responsible for sending out global warnings about possible hazards’. WHO supports the measures implemented, stating that ‘contaminated syrups are hazardous and should never be used in any medication’.

In October, the WHO said that its inspectors had discovered ‘inappropriate’¬†quantities of the two compounds in the cough syrups produced by the Indian business Maiden Pharmaceuticals, including Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup. These substances are known to be harmful and can harm the kidneys.

Somani wrote a letter to WHO head of regulation and prequalification Roderigo Gaspar in which he stated that the country’s pharmaceutical supply chain had suffered ‘irreparable damage’¬†as a result of the health organization’s October statement linking the deaths to cough syrup supplied in India.


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