Indian pharma firm blames buyer for adulterated cough syrup sold abroad
New Delhi, Apr 26 (EFE).- Indian pharmaceutical company QP Pharmachem on Wednesday blamed one of its buyers for allegedly distributing fake cough syrups using its brand name in the Pacific Islands.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization issued an alert following the discovery of samples adulterated with “unacceptable amounts” of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol in Guaifenesin cough syrup, manufactured by QP Pharmachem for sale in Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
“We provide all documents and control samples to the Indian authorities. I think they made it in Cambodia and used our brand,” the Indian firm’s managing director Sudhir Pathak told EFE.
According to Pathak, QP Pharmachem sold a batch of 18,336 bottles of Guaifenesin in 2020 to one of its buyers in Cambodia, with whom it maintains a sales only agreement in the Southeast Asian country.
However, he reiterated that their company’s products met the required safety standards and that one of their partners adulterated the cough syrups and sent it to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia without his consent.
Although the WHO did not report any victims so far, it warned that the drug could have been marketed in other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and informally even in other regions.
The alert is similar to three others issued in the last six months for other adulterated syrups in Indonesia, Gambia and Uzbekistan, where at least 300 deaths – mostly children under five – were recorded from the consumption of these products.
India faced international scrutiny following the alerts, after several of its products were flagged by the authorities as possibly responsible for the deaths.
In early April, an ophthalmic solution manufactured in India was linked to cases of blindness and the alleged death of several patients in the United States.
However, the Indian Ministry of Health ruled out contamination of the product after examining several samples.
The south Asian country is known as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ for its large-scale production of low-cost generic drugs and active components, as well as having the second largest number of production plants approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is the largest in the world, after the US. EFE