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Why Indian regulators fail to prevent fatal lapses in drug manufacturing

Haryana-based Maiden pharmaceuticals is in the eye of a storm for supplying adulterated cough syrups to Gambia. It has now emerged that the firm has been a habitual offender. 

October 08, 2022 / 12:01 PM IST

Shocking lapses in drug quality control have emerged after the ​death of 66 children in Gambia who consumed cough syrups made by an Indian pharma company.

The World Health Organisation has named Haryana- based drugmaker Maiden Pharmaceuticals as the maker of four cold and cough syrups contaminated with Diethylene glycol or Ethylene glycol—toxic substances that can be fatal in higher amounts -- that caused the deaths in the West African country.

India’s health ministry said on October 6 that the company had a manufacturing license from the Haryana drug controller for the products for which it held a manufacturing permission only for export.

The company has made and exported these products only to Gambia and they were not sold in the local market, the government said.