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Expert panel to probe WHO concerns at Haryana lab

The Central Government formed a four-member expert committee to investigate the report sent by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the deaths of 66 children in Gambia by consumption of cough syrups from Sonipat-based company Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, said official sources.

"Government is alert and formed a committee. Production of cough syrups by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd has been suspended, and lab report is awaited. Four-member expert committee has been formed to investigate the report sent by WHO," official sources said.

According to the reports, Atlanta-based Atlantic Pharmaceuticals Company Ltd which has permission to export medicines to Gambia, ordered combined syrups bottles which were purchased from Maiden Pharmaceuticals limited.

"From the preliminary inquiry of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), it has been made out that Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd is a manufacturer licensed by the State Drug Controller for the product's Promethazine Oral Solution BP, Kofexnalin Baby cough syrup, MaKoff Baby Cough Syrup and MaGrip n Cold Syrup under reference, and holds manufacturing permission for these products for export only," the sources said.

The company has manufactured and exported these products only to Gambia.

WHO has informed that as per the tentative results received, out of the 23 samples of the products under reference which were tested, four samples have been found to contain Diethylene Glycol or Ethylene glycol.

Haryana government has ordered a halt of the total production of cough syrups from Sonipat-based company Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited.

The company has also been issued a show cause notice for 12 violations found at its manufacturing plant.

State health minister Anil Vij said: "The samples of three drugs of the Sonipat-based pharmaceutical company, which were mentioned by WHO, have been sent to Central Drug Laboratory in Kolkata. The report is yet to come. It has been decided to shut total production. We have sent a notice in this regard."


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