Days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned against the use of cough syrups manufactured by a Sonipat-based firm, the Haryana government has ordered the firm, Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, to stop all drug production at the plant after various violations were noticed by an inspection team.
Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, on Wednesday, said the firm was ordered to stop all drug production with immediate effect due to various violations at Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited. After the WHO alert, a joint team of the state and the Centre inspected the unit and found 12 violations or deficiencies, he said.
Vij said that the report of the samples of four cough syrups which had been recently sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination was awaited. “When that report comes, depending on what it says, we will take further action,” he said.
WHO on October 5 had warned that cough syrup manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited could be linked to the death of 66 children in The Gambia in West Africa. A laboratory analysis of Maiden cough syrup had confirmed an ‘unacceptable’ amount of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic and lead to acute kidney injury, the WHO said.
WHO has listed Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup as substandard paediatric medicines because they had unacceptable amount of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants. Following this, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) initiated a probe into the matter.
Samples of four cough syrups manufactured by the firm, collected by a team of the DCGI and Haryana’s Food and Drugs Administration Department, have been sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination.
The company’s cough syrups, which the WHO said are contaminated and substandard, are not available for sale or marketing in the country. Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited’s cough syrups were approved for export only but the same is not available for sale or marketing in the country, an official said.