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Uzbek Cough Syrup Deaths: India to Scrap Pharmaceutical Firm's Licence

CC0 / / Cough syrup
Cough syrup - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.03.2023
In December 2022, 18 children died in Uzbekistan allegedly after consuming cough syrup manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical company Marion Biotech.
India's government has recommended that the Uttar Pradesh State Drug Controller scrap the license of Noida-based pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech, Indian media reported on Monday.
The move comes after police arrested three Marion employees last week after tests in a government laboratory found 22 of the 36 syrup samples "adulterated and spurious". Meanwhile, the company's two directors have absconded.
According to reports, the samples had been adulterated with ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. Both are toxic substances.
In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against Marion Biotech and called for "immediate and concerted action" to tackle the issue.
"These contaminants (diethylene glycol & ethylene glycol) are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even if taken in small amounts, and [must] never be found in medicines," the WHO said.
Marion Biotech came under scanner after 18 children in Uzbekistan died after consuming its 'Dok-1 Max' cough syrup. After this, the Indian government suspended its production on December 30.
The cough syrup was not distributed in India and was produced for export purposes only.