WHO issues alert over another India-made cough syrup

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The World Health Organization has said that a batch of contaminated India-made cough syrup has been found in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

The WHO said that the tested samples of Guaifenesin TG syrup, made by Punjab-based QP Pharmachem Ltd, showed “unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol”.

Both compounds are toxic to humans and could be fatal if consumed.

The WHO statement did not specify if anyone had fallen ill.

The latest alert comes months after the WHO linked other cough syrups made in India to child deaths in The Gambia and Uzbekistan.

Sudhir Pathak, managing director of QP Pharmachem, told the BBC that the company had exported the batch of 18,346 bottles to Cambodia after getting all due regulatory permissions. He said he didn’t know how the product had reached the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

“We did not send these bottles to the Pacific region, and they were not certified for use there. We don’t know under what circumstances and conditions these bottles reached the Marshall Islands and Micronesia,” he said, adding that his company has sent a legal notice to the firm that exported the batch of medicines to Cambodia.

The WHO statement said that the product, which is used to relieve chest congestion and cough symptoms, was tested by Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The syrup was marketed by Trillium Pharma, based in Haryana state. The BBC couldn’t reach a Trillium representative on the phone. The Indian government has not reacted to the latest alert.

The statement added that “neither the stated manufacturer nor the marketer have provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products”.

Read more via BBC

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