After the alleged death of 66 children in Gambia due to cough syrup of an Indian pharmaceutical company, now Uzbekistan has also alleged that 18 children have died there after consuming cough syrup of an Indian company.
Uzbekistan’s health minister said the children died after consuming Dak 1-Max cough syrup manufactured by Noida-based Indian pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech Ltd. The Ministry of Health has said that this pharmaceutical company was registered in Uzbekistan in 2012.
The statement said, ‘Investigation found that the deceased children had consumed this medicine 3-4 times a day for 2-7 days before being admitted to the hospital. Its quantity ranged between 2.5-5 ML, which is much more than the standard dose of medicine for children.
However, this statement did not directly allege any wrongdoing in the medicine. The statement said, ‘Since the medicine mainly contains paracetamol, it was used incorrectly by the parents. Either they bought it directly from the medical or used it as an anti-cold remedy. According to the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, preliminary lab tests have shown that this series of Dok-1 Max syrup contains a chemical called Ethylene Glycol.
The ministry pointed out that ethylene glycol is a toxic substance, and consuming this substance can also cause vomiting, fainting, convulsions, heart problems and kidney failure. A total of seven responsible employees have been dismissed for being negligent and not taking adequate precautions, while the government has taken disciplinary action against many other experts.
Meanwhile, the Uzbek government has withdrawn the syrup Dok-1 Max from all medical stores. At the same time, the government has asked the parents to be vigilant about the health of their children. Along with this, drug shops have been instructed not to give this medicine to the customers without a doctor’s prescription.
World Health Organization and Government of India called for investigation
Following this news, the World Health Organization (WHO) has assured Uzbekistan that it is fully committed to its assistance and will extend all possible cooperation in the investigation of the matter. On the other hand, sources in the Indian government and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) said that it would investigate Uzbekistan’s claim, and appropriate action would be taken on the basis of evidence.
On the other hand, Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has said that as soon as the information was received, the team of UP Drug Control and CDSCO conducted a joint inspection of the Noida facility of Marion Biotech. Further appropriate action will be taken on the basis of the inspection report.
What happened in Gambia?
In October, 66 children died in the Gambia, past that government blamed an Indian cough syrup for that. As soon as the cognizance of this matter came to light, the WHO ordered a ban on the use of four cough syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharma in Gambia.
WHO also made a statement blaming the death of 66 children on Indian medicine. Taking the matter seriously, the Indian government had constituted a committee under the leadership of Dr. YK Gupta, Vice Chairman of the Standing National Committee on Medicine.
The Modi government also approached WHO several times to present evidence on this subject, but they did not respond.
It may also be mentioned here that recently in the Parliament, the Central Government had clarified that the cough syrup of Indian pharmaceutical firm Maiden in Gambia, which was allegedly said to have caused the death of 66 children, was found during investigation that the allegations were false. There was no truth in these allegations and all the samples taken for the medicine were found to meet the necessary standards.
On 15 December, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) wrote to the WHO, saying that the deaths were being linked to Indian pharmaceutical companies in a hurry, raising questions about the quality of Indian medicines in the world.
Nepal bans Indian medicines after WHO warning
Nepal has also banned the import of medicine from 16 Indian pharmaceutical companies in the past. It is being told that the Government of Nepal has taken this decision on the basis of WHO’s warning after the death of children due to cough syrup in African countries. There are many big Indian pharmaceutical companies in this list released by the Nepal Drug Regulatory Authority, which also includes Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s Divya Pharmacy.
Congress attacked the Modi government
While on the one hand many countries under the leadership of WHO are banning Indian medicines without any evidence, on the other hand Congress, the main opposition party of India, has attacked the Government of India in this matter. Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted that Indian medicines are deadly.
Describing all these rumors as correct in a way, he has reprimanded the Indian government and said that the propaganda of the Modi government calling India the ‘pharmacy of the world’ should now stop and strict action should be taken on these allegations.
BJP countered these allegations has condemned the statement of Jairam Ramesh. BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya has said that Indian company’s medicine has no role in the death of children in Gambia. Gambia’s administration and the Indian government have also spoken about this, but the Congress leaders, because of their enmity with the Prime Minister, are now working to tarnish the country’s image. This is very shameful.
It is a matter of great shame that Indian political parties, instead of coming together in such matters, question their own government and their own institutions. We do not understand what is Jairam Ramesh’s problem with India becoming the ‘pharmacy of the world’?
Is this an international conspiracy against Indian pharmacy companies?
India is known as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’ and its exports of pharmaceuticals have more than doubled in the last decade. Even during the Corona period, there was a huge demand for medicines of Indian companies all over the world. Most types of corona vaccine in the world were made in India only, and even after exerting extreme pressure from western countries, the Indian government did not agree to import medicines of American companies like Pfizer, Moderna.
During the Corona period itself, America had banned the export of many essential products for the Indian vaccine. At the same time, the western media kept questioning the Indian vaccine, sometimes misrepresenting their facts, sometimes questioning their capabilities. But after overcoming all these problems, India not only made vaccine for itself, but also exported it to more than 100 countries. This not only improved the image of India, but also made our pharmacy companies famous in the world.
Maybe this thing is not digested by the pharma lobby, and that is the reason why new allegations are being leveled against Indian companies one after the other. The biggest thing is that no evidence is being given to prove these allegations. No information has been shared with the Indian Government even after asking for evidence from the affected countries and WHO several times, in such a situation should we accept the wild claims of these countries and organizations?
Today, where India is taking a giant leap in the pharma sector, this type of propaganda will not only tarnish the image of our country, but will also have a negative impact on the potential of our pharma companies. In such a situation, it is highly condemnable for our opposition parties to participate in this propaganda, whereas we would request the general public not to fall for such propaganda and believe only on facts-based information.