Following the deaths of 19 children in Uzbekistan due to an Indian-made cough syrup, police have arrested three officials of the Noida-based pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech.
An FIR was lodged late Thursday night against five officials of Marion Biotech, including two of its directors, over a complaint by a drugs inspector of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), the police said.
The central and Uttar Pradesh state drug authorities had checked samples of Marion Biotech's drugs and found 22 of them to be "not of standard quality" (adulterated and spurious), according to the complainant drug inspector.
"Three persons named in the FIR have been arrested, while the two directors of the company are at large. Those arrested are Tuhin Bhattacharya, Head Operation; Atul Rawat, Manufacturing Chemist; and Mool Singh, Analytical Chemist," Phase 3 police station in-charge Vijay Kumar told PTI.
Cough syrup-related deaths
Back in December, Uzbekistan claimed that an Indian cough syrup was responsible for the death of 18 children as they consumed the product manufactured by an Indian pharmaceutical company.
The company in question is Marion Biotech Private Limited, which was registered in 2012 in Uzbekistan. According to the health ministry, the children who died had consumed the Dok-1 Max Syrup produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech.
So far, 18 out of 21 children with acute respiratory disease have died as a result of taking Dok-1 Max syrup, the ministry said. "It was found that the deceased children, before admission to hospital treatment, took this drug at home for 2-7 days 3-4 times a day, 2.5-5 ml, which exceeds the standard dose of the drug for children," the statement noted.
Earlier in October, the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised an alert about another India-based drug manufacturer, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, after its cough syrups may be tied to 66 deaths in Gambia, mostly children.
(With inputs from PTI)