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Cough syrup deaths: Team of Centre, UP drug dept inspect pharma firm’s Noida office

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A team of central agencies and the Uttar Pradesh drug department on Thursday carried out an inspection at the Noida office of a pharmaceutical firm whose cough syrup is allegedly linked to the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan, officials said.

The company, Marion Biotech, does not sell the cough syrup, ‘Doc-1 Max’, in India and its only export has been to Uzbekistan, a state government official said.

The inspection began at Marion Biotech’s office in Noida Sector 67 on Thursday morning, Gautam Buddh Nagar Drug Inspector Vaibhav Babbar told PTI.

Also read: Cough syrup linked deaths in Uzbekistan: CDSCO initiates probe, inspection carried out

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has initiated a probe in connection with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan allegedly linked to Marion Biotech.

The health ministry of Uzbekistan has claimed that the 18 children had consumed the cough syrup.

Inquiry ongoing

Hasan Harris, legal representative of Marion Biotech, said the governments of both countries are looking into the matter and inquiring.

“There is no problem from our end and no issue in testing. We have been there for the past ten years. Once the government report will come, we will look into it. For now the manufacturing has stopped,” Harris said.

Babbar said on December 27, an inspection was carried out by a team of the Centre in which samples of five medicines were taken for testing.

“A further round of investigation is pending for which we have come here today,” he said.

“The company does not have any domestic market and has only one export market which is Uzbekistan. No product (Doc-1 Max) has been sold in India,” the drug inspector told PTI.

The company is currently operational and they have all mandatory licenses and approvals, including certificate of pharmaceutical product (CoPP) for export which is granted by the Centre, he said.

“Now the investigation underway is to find out from where they procured the raw material and where all it has been used,” he said.

The company has been operational since 2010, he added.

Meanwhile, when checked by PTI, the website of Marion Biotech became inaccessible Thursday morning.

“Error establishing a database connection (sic),” read a message on the homepage of marionbiotech.com.



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