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WHO discovers another contaminated cough syrup

Guaifenesin TG syrup. Photo:BBC

The World Health Organization, WHO says it has discovered a batch of contaminated India-made cough syrup has been found in the Marshall Islands and Micronesi.

In a statement, the Organisation said tested samples of Guaifenesin TG syrup, made by Punjab-based QP Pharmachem Ltd contained an “unacceptable amount” of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.

It said both compounds are harmful to humans.

According to WHO, the test was carried out by Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

In an interview with the BBC, Sudhir Pathak, the Managing Director of QP Pharmachem, said the company had exported the batch of 18,346 bottles to Cambodia after getting due regulatory permissions and not the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

“We did not send these bottles to the Pacific region, and they were not certified for use there. We don’t know under what circumstances and conditions these bottles reached the Marshall Islands and Micronesia,” he said.

The latest alert comes months after the WHO linked four cough syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals also an India pharmaceutical to death of some children in The Gambia and Uzbekistan.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu