Gambia Syrup Scandal: Maiden Pharma Suspended From Pharma Exporters’ Council


New Delhi: The World Health Organization (WHO) red-flagged four products after 66 children died in the West African nation of The Gambia, prompting Pharmexcil, the organisation that represents pharmaceutical exporters, to suspend Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ membership. Maiden Pharmaceuticals is the Delhi-based drugmaker under investigation.

Director General of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, Ravi Udaya Bhaskar announced that Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ membership has been terminated immediately since the Council has not received any feedback or a report on the adverse events from the company.

Notably, the Indian pharmaceutical company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals was a repeat offender in India and is now under scrutiny after 66 children in Gambia died after ingesting Indian-made cough syrup.

Four states in the country have found that a number of the products manufactured by Maiden pharmaceuticals did not meet quality standards.

It is pertinent to say that a ban was imposed upon the company in Vietnam in 2011.

The company was red flagged numerous times by medical authorities throughout the nation; here is a detailed list-

Red flags against Maiden Pharmaceutical

Bihar (2008) : Erythromycin stearate 125 mg syrup (4 batches found to be of poor quality)

Bihar (2011) : Methylergometrine tab (Fake)

Vietnam: Company banned from 2011 to 2013

Gujarat (2013) : Macipro Tab (dissolution issues)

Jammu and Kashmir (2020) : Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride Syrup IP (substandard in quality)

Kerala (2021) : Metformin 1000 Tab (dissolution issue)

Kerala (2021) : Easiprin (did not meet IP standard)

Kerala (2021): Metformin 500 mg (dissolution issue)

Kerala (2021) : Maikal D Tab (Poor quality)

The tiny West African nation Gambia has started a door-to-door effort to sieze cough and cold syrups that are thought to be the cause of the kidney injuries that have killed more than 60 children in the nation.

Following a statement from WHO that suggests the pharma company’s products were responsible for the deaths in Gambia, India is analysing samples of cough syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals.

“Samples have been sent to a central pharmaceutical laboratory for testing,” Anil Vij, the health minister of Haryana state where Maiden has its factories, told reporters. “Strict action will be taken if anything is found wrong.”

Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be hazardous and result in severe kidney impairment, were found in “unacceptable” concentrations in the syrups made by the said company, according to the WHO.

Officials in the Indian ministry stated that Maiden, which began operations in November 1990, produced and shipped syrup only to Gambia.

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