Gambia hires US regulation agency to think about motion on poisonous Indian cough syrup, minister says – ET HealthWorld

Gambia hires US regulation agency to think about motion on poisonous Indian cough syrup, minister says – ET HealthWorld

Banjul: Gambia has employed a US regulation agency to discover authorized motion after a government-backed investigation discovered that contaminated medicines from India had been “very doubtless” to have precipitated the deaths of youngsters final 12 months, the justice minister instructed a information company.

Not less than 70 youngsters in Gambia, most underneath 5 years previous, died from acute kidney harm between June and October.

Native medical doctors suspected cough syrups imported from India had been the doubtless perpetrator, Reuters reported earlier this 12 months, and checks by the World Well being Organisation (WHO) confirmed the presence of deadly toxins, sparking a world hunt for contaminated medicines.

Gambian Justice Minister Dawda Jallow instructed the information company that authorized motion was one possibility into consideration by the federal government, the primary signal of potential worldwide litigation over the deaths. Jallow didn’t say who could be the goal of potential authorized proceedings or title the regulation agency employed to assist.

The medicines linked to the kids’s deaths had been made by Indian drug maker Maiden Prescription drugs, which denied wrongdoing. Assessments by the WHO discovered that the Maiden cough syrups contained the deadly toxins diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG), utilized in automobile brake fluid. India’s authorities has stated its personal checks on the medicine discovered no toxins.

India’s well being ministry and Maiden didn’t reply to requests for touch upon Gambia’s doable authorized motion. The WHO declined to remark.

Indian officers have stated the WHO did not show a causal hyperlink to the Gambia deaths, accusing the company of denigrating its $41 billion pharmaceutical business. Nevertheless, cough syrups made by a second Indian drugmaker have been linked to the deaths of 19 youngsters in Uzbekistan. India has since made drug testing necessary for cough syrups earlier than export.


Gambia’s justice ministry is contemplating its choices after completion of a brand new government-commissioned causality evaluation by a panel of worldwide specialists, Jallow stated.

Reuters has seen a replica of the report, which was introduced to President Adama Barrow in April however has not been made public.

In it, specialists stated they analysed 56 of the instances of acute kidney harm. Of these, they discovered 22 had been “very doubtless” to have died from DEG or EG poisoning after taking Maiden merchandise.

The panel couldn’t verify the reason for dying in one other 30 instances however stated it was “extremely suggestive” they had been killed by DEG and EG. It stated there was not sufficient proof in 4 different instances.

Docs had been capable of perform autopsies on simply two of the sufferers. The pathology from each was per DEG and EG poisoning, the report stated. Of all of the medicines examined after the deaths, solely Maiden’s had been proven to be poisonous, it stated.

DEG and EG can be utilized by unscrupulous actors as an affordable substitute for propylene glycol, a key ingredient in syrupy medicines, in accordance with a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing specialists. New company Reuters couldn’t decide if Indian authorities had seen the causality report.

It’s the newest piece of a months-long investigation into the deaths, which raised issues amongst international well being officers about lax regulation in India’s drug sector and oversight of pharmaceutical uncooked supplies worldwide. Lots of the nations India provides, together with Gambia, don’t have any technique of testing imported medicine.

The WHO has stated it’s persevering with to analyze the supply of contaminated cough syrups in Gambia, Uzbekistan and several other different nations, however has been pissed off by a lack of expertise concerning Maiden’s medicine. A key intermediary within the provide chain of these medicines remains to be unknown, Reuters discovered.

Gambia’s Minister Dawda stated the causality evaluation and the justice ministry’s suggestions could be made public inside six months. Gambia is planning to construct a testing facility for imported medicine with help from the World Financial institution, the financial institution instructed a information company.

  • Revealed On Jun 2, 2023 at 11:56 AM IST

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