The Indian pharmaceutical industry has been a reliable supplier to countries all over the world, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday, following reports of deaths in Uzbekistan allegedly caused by contaminated cough syrup Dok1 Max manufactured by Indian company Marion Biotech based in Noida.
“Indian pharmaceutical industry has been a reliable supplier to countries across the world. It is still present in various forms of medicine and other pharmaceutical products,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a weekly media briefing in response to a question about whether such cases are tarnishing India’s reputation as the world’s pharmacy.
“When such incidents occur, we take them very seriously. “Let’s not rush this,” he added.
Bagchi stated that the MEA is providing consular assistance to individuals who are facing legal action from the Uzbek government as a result of the death of 18 children who allegedly ingested cough syrup manufactured by a Noida-based company.
“We understand that legal action has been initiated by the Uzbek authorities against some people including the local representatives of the company there. In that regard, we are providing consular assistance to that individual or individuals,” said the MEA spokesperson.
Bagchi stated that the MEA has seen media reports about the tragic deaths of 18 children. He said the deaths appeared to have occurred over a two-month period, citing Uzbek authorities.
“We also understand that Uzbek authorities are investigating this case, including whether there is a possible link with the cough syrup manufactured in India. We saw a press release from the Ministry of Health,” said the MEA spokesperson.
“The Uzbek authorities have not formally taken up the matter with us. Nonetheless, our embassy has taken up the case with the Uzbek side and is seeking more information about their own investigation,” he added.
This comes as India is in contact with Uzbekistan’s national drug regulator regarding reports of India-made cough syrups being linked to the deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan.
“Since December 27, 2022, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has been in regular contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan regarding the matter,” the statement read.
Upon receiving the information, the UP Drug Control and CDSCO teams conducted a joint inspection of the manufacturer’s NOIDA facility, Marion Biotech, and further action was initiated as appropriate based on the inspection report.
Marion Biotech, according to the health ministry, is a licenced manufacturer with a licence to manufacture Dok1 Max syrup and tablets for export purposes granted by the Drugs Controller, UP.
Cough syrup samples were collected from the manufacturing site and sent to the Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL) in Chandigarh for testing.
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