After death 300 plus children because of counterfeits of syrups against cough, o World Health Organisation yesterday (23/1) called for “immediate and concerted action” to root out non-compliant and counterfeit medicines.
Over the past four months, at least seven countries have reported incidents involving over-the-counter cough syrups for children, the WHO said.
More than 300 deaths have been linked to taking these drugs in three countries including Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan, the WHO said, adding that most of the deaths involved “children under the age of five”..
Reported incidents include; confirmed or suspected contamination of cough syrups manufactured in India with high levels of ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. “These harmful substances are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreezes and can be fatal even if taken in small amounts“, the WHO warned, adding that these products “should never be in medicines”.
The WHO issued an initial warning about child deaths seen in Gambia in October, followed by another warning a month later focusing on Indonesia and another earlier this month for Uzbekistan.
The WHO has issued warnings against the use of syrups made by Indian companies Marion Biotech and Maiden Pharmaceuticals and called on countries to redouble efforts to identify and withdraw any contaminated drugs, strengthen oversight of supply chains and issue warnings in case of detection of non-compliant products.
For the WHO, “these are not isolated incidents” and calls for “immediate and coordinated measures”.
Competent regulatory authorities and governments must identify and withdraw any substandard medical products identified by WHO warnings, and ensure that the products are imgd from approved suppliers and that their sale is approved by the relevant authorities. authorities.
Those making medicines must “purchase excipients only of pharmaceutical grade and only from reliable suppliers”, the WHO insisted.
They must keep full records of their purchases and conduct thorough testing of ingredients before using them and issue certificates of a product’s quality.
Finally, according to the WHO, suppliers and distributors of medical products must “always look for signs of falsification” and sell only medicines approved by the relevant authorities.
Source: News Beast
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