WHO Refuses To Accept Indian Expert Committee Report on Gambia Cough Syrup Deaths

31 Jan 2023 • The findings and observations of the committee set up by the Indian government to look into the deaths of 70 children in the Gambia that were connected to syrups made by an Indian company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, have been refuted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The report was submitted to Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The report not only said that there was no evidence linking the four products in question to the deaths, but also that the WHO provided lab test reports of only four products and not the 17 others which were tested and were under question. The WHO spokesperson did however state that "All results of the 23 samples analysed were shared with the Indian authorities. Only 4 of the samples were confirmed as contaminated". Tests commissioned by the WHO revealed that the four products were contaminated with the toxins, diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG).

The results of the WHO-commissioned lab analysis of all these four samples were supplied to Indian authorities. However, the Indian committee report does not mention them. Even a Gambian parliamentary committee alluded to these results, and in a scientifically detailed report, concluded that the four products were responsible for the deaths of children in that country. Not only is the UN agency's product alert warning against their usage still in effect, but on January 24 it also issued a fresh warning to regulators and governments around the world.

According to the WHO medical alerts, governments must improve surveillance so they can detect and remove from circulation any substandard drugs.

Source: The Wire| Read full story

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