Indian Embassy seeks details of Uzbekistan’s investigation into cough syrup deaths

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Indian Embassy in Tashkent is in close touch with the authorities in Uzbekistan over the death of 18 children after allegedly consuming a cough syrup made in India.

Expressing its sincere condolences to the family members of the victims of the tragedy, the Indian Embassy said on Thursday it has maintained contact with the Agency on Development of Pharmaceutical Industry. A press release issued by the embassy also said that it has requested the agency to share its investigation reports with the Indian side so that necessary action may also be taken in India.

“India values its partnership with Uzbekistan and cooperation in the field of healthcare and pharmaceutical drugs. We will continue to maintain close touch with the Uzbek authorities in this matter,” the Indian Embassy added.

The deaths appear to have taken place over a period of two months, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to a question during his weekly media briefing on Thursday. “We understand that the Uzbek authorities are investigating the case including whether there is a possible link with the cough syrup allegedly manufactured in India,” he said.

According to Bagchi, the Uzbek authorities had not taken up the matter formally with India but the Indian Embassy had contacted the Uzbek side. “We understand that legal action has been initiated by the Uzbek authorities,” he added.

“The Health Ministry has been in contact with the drug regulators in Uzbekistan and here. They are looking into the matter and further investigation is on,” the MEA Spokesperson said.

“Regarding reports from Uzbekistan concerning contaminated cough syrup made by Indian company Marion Biotech, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, the @CDSCO_INDIA_INF is in regular contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan since 27th December,” India’s Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter.

According to the Union Health Ministry, immediately on receipt of the information, a joint inspection of Marion Biotech’s Noida facility was carried out by the UP Drug Control and the CDSCO team. Further action as appropriate would be initiated based on the inspection report.

The samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the manufacturing premises and sent to Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory, Chandigarh for testing.

Marion Biotech is a licensed manufacturer and holds a license for manufacturing of Dok1 Max syrup and tablets for export purposes granted by the Drug Controller, Uttar Pradesh, the health ministry added.

(India News Network)

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