The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against taking four cough syrups made from India.
BBC reported that the drugs manufactured by an Indian company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited (Haryana, India), could be linked to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
The four products are Promethazine Oral Solution,Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
The International Health Agency said the company failed to provide guarantees about the safety of patients who might have taken it.
Laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products also confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
To date, these four products have been identified in The Gambia, but may have been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions.
“The syrups have been potentially linked with acute kidney injuries and 66 deaths among children.”
Advice to regulatory authorities and the public
It is important to detect and remove these substandard products from circulation to prevent harm to patients.
WHO requests increased surveillance and diligence within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these products. Increased surveillance of the informal/unregulated market is also advised.
All medical products must be approved and obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked. Seek advice from a healthcare professional when in doubt.
If you have these substandard products, please DO NOT use them. If you, or someone you know, have used these products or suffered any adverse reaction/event after use, you are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional and report the incident to the National Regulatory Authority or National Pharmacovigilance Centre.
National regulatory/health authorities are advised to immediately notify WHO if these substandard products are discovered in their respective country. If you have any information concerning the manufacture or supply of these products, please contact WHO via email@example.com
Maiden Pharmaceuticals is yet to react to the development.