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Uzbekistan Accuses India-Made Syrup For Deaths, Ministry Says

India-Made Syrup

Nagpur: At least 18 children have died in Uzbekistan after consuming a medicinal syrup manufactured by Indian drugmaker Maricon Biotech, according to the Uzbek Health Ministry.

According to the ministry, 18 of the 21 children who took the Doc -1 Max syrup while suffering from an acute respiratory disease died as a result of it. The company’s website lists it as a treatment for cold and flu symptoms.

A batch of the syrup contains ethylene glycol, a toxic substance, according to the ministry. Quramax medical imported the syrup into Uzbekistan, according to a statement released by the ministry on Tuesday.

It also stated that the syrup was given to children without a doctor’s prescription at home, either by their parents or on the advice of pharmacists, in doses that exceeded the standard dose for children.

It was unclear whether all or any of the children had consumed the suspect batch, had consumed more than the standard dose, or had consumed both.

Marion Biotech, Quramazx Medical, and India’s Health Ministry did not respond immediately to Reuters’ request for comment. According to an Indian government source, the Health Ministry is looking into the matter.

On Tuesday, India began an inspection of some drug factories across the country to ensure high quality standards.

The Uzbek incident follows a similar one in the Gambia, where cough and cold syrups manufactured by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals were blamed for the deaths of at least 70 children. Both the Indian government and the company have denied that the medicines were to blame.

India is known as the “world pharmacy,” and its pharmaceutical exports have more than doubled in the last decade, reaching $24.5 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

According to the Uzbek Health Ministry, seven employees were fired for negligence for failing to analyse the deaths in a timely manner and failing to take the necessary measures. It stated that it had taken disciplinary action against some “specialists,” but did not specify what role the specialists played. The Doc 1 Max tablets and syrups are also being withdrawn from all pharmacies.



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