In News: Following the death of 66 children in Gambia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised an alert over four medicines of fever, cold and cough syrups produced by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited and has urged people to not use them.
- India’s apex drug regulatory authority – the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) – has already launched an investigation into the matter.
- Names of medicines: The four syrups are — Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Mak off Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
- Names of contaminants: Unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are found as contaminants.
Effect of contaminants:
- Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can cause toxic effects, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury that may lead to death
- These medicinal products are substandard and unsafe for use, especially in children, and may result in serious injury or death, as per WHO.
Measures to be taken:
- Individuals 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.
- Countries should increase surveillance of the supply chains to detect and remove the substandard products including surveillance of informal or unregulated markets.
Source: Indian Express