Gambia deaths: Maiden Pharma blames e-coli, French company : The Tribune India

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Gambia deaths: Maiden Pharma blames e-coli, French company

Gambia deaths: Maiden Pharma blames e-coli, French company

The cough syrups that allegedly led to kids’ deaths in The Gambia.



Tribune News Service

Mukesh Tandon

Panipat, October 8

A day after the raid conducted by the joint team of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in Maiden Pharmaceutical Limited at the HSIIDC Kundli, the company owner refuted allegations against the firm and said no death was reported in The Gambia due to their products and blamed e-coli bacteria and paracetamol, which was supplied by some French company there, behind the 66 children’s deaths in The Gambia. Besides, the team had served the joint inspection report to the company owner.

Naresh Kumar Goel, director, Maiden Pharma, while talking to The Tribune, said no death was reported due to their material and they were not at fault. They had sent the medicines to The Gambia and the material completely reached there and they had no role behind the death of the children, he said.

We cannot be blamed

The WHO and the MCA reports have no mention of our products being responsible for the deaths. The Gambia’s President Adama Barrow too said the cause of the deaths was e-coli bacteria due to diarrhoea outbreak in the country. —Naresh Kumar Goel, Director, Maiden Pharma

The recent alert of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a notice of the Medical Control Agency (MCA) of The Gambia had only recalled our products after finding some contaminations in these, he added.

Citing media reports, the company owner also said that the children might have died due to e-coli bacteria or by paracetamol, which was exported there by some French company. The regulatory authorities have taken samples from the company and the reports would come in around 15 days and it would be cleared before the country that there was no role of their products behind any death, Goel claimed.

No memo or show-cause notice had been served to them by the regulators so far, only they served a joint inspection report to them according to the procedure, he said. “We are not selling medicines in the domestic market, as we have been exporting the medicines to many countries across the world. That’s why, we have been maintaining all international standards in the manufacture of all types of drugs,” the company owner said.

“We are manufacturing lakhs of drugs every year and samples of 1 or 2 per cent drugs may fail laboratory parameters sometimes, and it is a routine process as samples of even multi-national companies fail,” he added.

Notably, Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited is under the lens of regulators after the WHO issued an alert saying the firm’s cough syrup could potentially be linked to the death of the children in The Gambia. The firm has its presence in Africa, South America and South East Asia.

Meanwhile, the state drugs control authorities remained tight-lipped on the issue and didn’t answer any queries despite repeated attempts.

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