The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an alert over a contaminated syrup produced and marketed by Indian pharmaceutical companies QP Pharmachem Ltd and Trillium Pharma in Punjab and Haryana, respectively. The alert, released on Tuesday, warns of the dangers posed to individuals who consume the substandard medicine. Guaifenesin syrup TG syrup, an expectorant used to relieve chest congestion and cough symptoms, was found to contain dangerous levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, according to the quality control laboratories of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia. The WHO has urged authorities and healthcare professionals to ensure that no one uses the contaminated medicine.
The affected batch of Guaifenesin syrup TG syrup was identified in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia and reported to the WHO on 6 April 2023. The WHO stated that to date, neither the manufacturer nor the marketer has provided guarantees on the safety and quality of the product. The contaminated syrup may also have marketing authorizations in other countries in the Western Pacific region and may have been distributed through informal markets to other countries or regions.
Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed and can be fatal. The WHO warned that the substandard product is unsafe, and its use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death. Toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury, which may lead to death.
In response to the alert, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Punjab has raised doubts that someone has duplicated the cough syrup sent to Cambodia and sold it in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia to defame the Government of India. The FDA department has taken samples of the cough syrup sent to Cambodia for testing, with a total of 18,336 bottles of cough syrup sent.
The WHO has issued a crucial alert over a contaminated syrup produced by Indian pharmaceutical companies that can prove fatal to those who consume it. The alert highlights the need for stringent quality control measures to ensure that substandard products do not reach the market and put people’s lives at risk. Manufacturers and marketers need to prioritize safety and quality to maintain the trust of their consumers and the global community.