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Uzbekistan Arrests Four In Connection With Cough Syrup Deaths

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Tashkent [Uzbekistan]: Uzbekistan has arrested four people in an investigation into the deaths of 19 children who consumed cough syrup made by Indian drug maker Marion Biotech, Reuters news agency reported on Friday, citing the Uzbek state security service.

Two of them who were arrested are senior employees of the Scientific Center for Standardization of Medicines, who circumvented the proper testing procedures for the Doc-1 Max cough syrup, the report said. According to Reuters, two others were executives of the Quramax Medikal company that imported the Marion Biotech drugs.

Noida-based pharma Marion Biotech has come under a cloud as reports of children dying after consuming cough syrup made here came in from Uzbekistan. The matter is under investigation. Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that all manufacturing activities of the Noida-based pharma company have been stopped in view of the reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max.

“Following inspection by @CDSCO_INDIA_INF [Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation] team in view of reports of contamination in cough syrup Dok1 Max, all manufacturing activities of Marion Biotech at NOIDA unit have been stopped yesterday night, while further investigation is ongoing,” Mansukh Mandaviya said in an earlier tweet.
Earlier, the Indian mission in Uzbekistan expressed condolences to the family members of children who died allegedly due to consumption of contaminated cough syrup Dok1 Max, made by Noida-based Marion Biotech.

The Indian mission said the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) of India has also maintained regular contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan since December 27, under the direction of the India Health Ministry.

The embassy had said the samples of the cough syrup have been taken from the manufacturing premises and sent to the Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory (RDTL) in Chandigarh, India for testing.

The Indian mission said the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) of India has also maintained regular contact with the national drug regulator of Uzbekistan since December 27, 2022 under the direction of the India Health Ministry.

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