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Uzbekistan Investigates Deaths of 18 Children 'after Consuming Made-in-India Syrup', WHO Assisting Probe


After the Gambian children’s death controversy, the health ministry of Uzbekistan has alleged that 18 kids have died in the country after consuming medicines manufactured by an Indian pharmaceutical company.

According to the reports by Uzbekistan’s local news website, AKI.com, tablets and syrup, ‘Dok-1 Max’, manufactured by the Uttar Pradesh-based Marion Biotech, are allegedly behind the deaths of several children. These kids were hospitalised with acute respiratory diseases, the report said.

The press report quoted Uzbekistan’s health ministry’s primary laboratory studies which showed the presence of ethylene glycol—the deadly chemical which was held responsible for deaths in the Gambia—in the Dok-1 Max syrup.

A response to the mail sent to the World Health Organization for confirmation on the development told News18.com that “WHO is in contact with health authorities in Uzbekistan and is ready to assist in further investigations”.

No further details were shared on the matter.

Mails sent to Marion Biotech and Uzbekistan’s health ministry did not fetch any response. A text message dropped to two spokespersons of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is yet to elicit a reaction. This report will be updated as soon as any of them sends a reply.


The latest allegation comes when India is still at loggerheads with the World Health Organization over its denial of possible contamination in the drugs exported to the Gambia.

In October, WHO issued an alert over four cough syrups manufactured by an Indian drugmaker, Maiden Pharma, alleging that the deaths of 66 young children in Africa’s Gambia may be linked to contaminated cough and cold syrups.

According to the global health body, laboratory analysis of the syrups confirmed “unacceptable” amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol, which can be toxic and lead to acute kidney injury.

However, India’s apex drug regulatory body, the drugs controller general of India (DCGI), had ruled out contamination possibilities and said that the products were found to be complying with all specifications.


However, the media article from Uzbekistan also blamed the misuse and overdose of the medicine.

It said that the ministry noted that “the deceased children before admission to the hospital took the drug at home with other drugs for 2 to 7 days, 3 to 4 times a day at a dosage of 2.5 to 5 ml which was higher than the dose suitable for children.”

It also noted that “all children were given the drug without a doctor’s prescription. Since the main substance in the drug is paracetamol, Doc-1 Max” syrup was incorrectly used as a remedy for colds on their own by parents or on the recommendation of pharmacy sellers.