Noida-based firm Marion Biotech, which was being investigated by the Uttar Pradesh Drug Control and the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) after Uzbekistan linked the deaths of 18 children in the country to drinking contaminated health syrup made by them, has been asked to completely halt drug production at the Noida plant.
The inspection was completed at midnight, and the Uttar Pradesh state drug controller ordered a complete halting of production of all drugs at the unit.
A deviation from schedule M of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards, was observed at Marion’s plant.
The company may be served a show cause notice as per the observations of the inspection report.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had on Thursday said that the government would “initiate further action based on the inspection report.” The Indian government has been in touch with Uzbekistan regarding the issue since December 27, he said.
According to the Uzbekistan’s health ministry, the laboratory tests of a batch of syrups found “the presence of ethylene glycol”, a toxic substance.
It also said the syrup was given to children at home without a doctor’s prescription, either by their parents or on the advice of pharmacists, with doses that exceeded the standard dose for children.
It was found that the children, before being hospitalised, took this syrup at home for two to seven days, in doses of 2.5 to 5 ml three to four times a day, which exceeds the standard dose, the ministry said.
The syrup was used by the parents as an anti-cold remedy.
After the deaths of 18 children, Doc-1 Max tablets and syrups have been withdrawn from all pharmacies in the country, the statement said, adding that seven employees were sacked because they failed to analyse the situation in time and take steps.