Cough syrup deaths: Haryana sends samples to Calcutta lab
Samples of four cough syrups manufactured by a Sonipat-based firm have been sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory in Kolkata for examination, Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij said Thursday, a day after the WHO potentially linked them to the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned that four "contaminated" and "substandard" cough syrups allegedly produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited based in Haryana's Sonepat could be the reason for the deaths of children in the West African nation.
A probe has already been initiated by India's drug regulator, the Drugs Controller General of India.
"The samples have been collected by a team of the DCGA and Haryana's Food and Drugs Administration Department and sent to the CDL, Kolkata for examination," Vij told PTI over phone on Thursday.
He said a senior official of Centre's Department of Pharmaceuticals spoke with Haryana's Additional Chief Secretary (Health).
Vij said the cough syrups manufactured by the pharma company were approved for export. "It is not available for sale or marketing in the country."
"Whatever action has to be taken will be taken once the CDL report comes. Only after the report is in, we can arrive at any conclusion," Vij said.
When asked about the matter at a news conference here, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the Centre was looking into this issue.
When an international issue in involved, the Government of India deals with it and they are dealing with it, he said.
However, he added, "So far, we do not have information on whether the deaths happened actually because of these medicines or due to some other reasons.