India halts production of cough syrups suspected of links to child deaths
The WHO suspects that four of the syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited – Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup – have “unacceptable amounts” of chemicals that can damage the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys of those who take them.
Health officials believe the medicines may be linked to the deaths of more than 60 children in the Gambia, Africa, and potentially more than 20 children in the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia. Read more here.
Gambia says child deaths linked to cough syrup have risen
Gambia’s government on Friday said the number of child deaths from acute kidney injury, thought to be linked to Indian-made cough syrups, has risen to 70 from a previous toll of 69. Read more here.
Safety concerns of drugs made in India
The tainted drugs and the tragic deaths again shone a spotlight on India’s $42bn – half of the revenues come from exports – drug manufacturing industry.
Some 3,000 firms operate 10,000 pharmaceutical factories making generics (copies of branded medicines that usually sell for a fraction of their price), over-the-counter medicines, vaccines and ingredients in what is one of the world’s largest drug-making countries. Although India imports 70% of the active ingredient chemicals for its medicines from China, it is trying to make more of them at home. Read more here.