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World Health Organization Issues Alert for 4 Indian Cough Syrups

World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday issued an alert over 4 cough and cold syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

It said that the same could be linked to the deaths of over 60 children in The Gambia. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media that the UN agency, along with Indian regulators and the drugmaker, New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd, is conducting an investigation into the matter.

The WHO also issued a medical product alert, requesting that Maiden Pharma products be removed from the market. The products may have been distributed elsewhere through informal markets, but the WHO said in its alert that they had only been identified in Gambia.

Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup, and Magrip N Cold Syrup are the four products regarding which the alert has been raised.

According to the health organization, lab analysis revealed "unacceptable" levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, both of which are toxic when swallowed.

The deaths have also shocked tiny West African country, which is already dealing with several medical crises like malaria and measles. 

According to the official website of Maiden Pharmaceuticals, the company manufactures medicines in India and sells them both domestically and to countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The WHO told people “Please DO NOT use them" and demanded more careful monitoring & oversight of the supply chains in the countries and regions that are likely to be impacted by these items. 

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