• Tuesday, June 06, 2023


Indian pharma company’s licence cancelled over Uzbek kids’ death

Noida-based company Marion Biotech’s cough syrup Dok-1 was linked with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan

Marion Biotech can no longer manufacture the syrup (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

India has cancelled the manufacturing licence of Noida-based pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech, according to officials.

Marion Biotech’s cough syrup Dok-1 was linked with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan. The incident which occurred last December prompted India’s federal and Uttar Pradesh state drug authorities to launch a probe into the matter.

“The firm’s licence was under suspension since January after which a detailed inquiry was initiated. Now the licence of the firm has been cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh Drugs Controlling and Licensing Authority. The firm can no longer manufacture the syrup,” a government official said on Wednesday (22).

On March 3, the Noida Police arrested three employees of Marion from its office while a lookout notice was issued for two of its directors after a first information report (FIR) was lodged against all of them, the official said.

The FIR had come in the wake of investigations finding that samples of Marion Biotech’s drugs were “adulterated” and “not of standard quality.”

The samples were sent to the regional drug testing laboratory in Chandigarh and 22 of them were found to be ‘not of standard quality’ (adulterated and spurious), according to the FIR.

On January 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) had issued a ‘medical product alert’, referring to two substandard (contaminated) products, identified in Uzbekistan.

“The two products are Ambronol syrup and DOK-1 Max syrup… Laboratory analysis of samples of both products, undertaken by national quality control laboratories of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan found both products contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and/or ethylene glycol as contaminants,” it had noted.


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