According to a notice released by the government on Tuesday, India will no longer permit the export of cough syrups unless samples have been examined in a government laboratory. This injunction follows the discovery of tainted cough syrups made in India, which were blamed for the deaths of numerous kids in the Gambia and Uzbekistan.
According to a notice released on Monday by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and shared by the health ministry on Tuesday, exporters will need to have their cough syrups tested starting on June 1.
"Cough syrup shall be permitted to be exported subject to the export sample being tested and production of certificate of analysis," the notice issued by the trade ministry stated listing the laboratories that would issue the certificate.
The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, Ghaziabad, CDL Kolkata, CDTL Chennai, CDTL Mumbai, CDTL Hyderabad, RDTL Chandigarh, RDTL Guwahati, and any state drug testing labs authorised by the NABL would all issue the CoA.
This choice was made in response to rumours that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had suggested testing cough syrups in government labs prior to export. The health ministry then reviewed the suggestion before announcing the change.
At least 70 children in the Gambia and 19 in Uzbekistan died last year after ingesting cough syrup produced by two companies based close to New Delhi. Lethal poisons were present in the cough syrups that producers Maiden Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Marion Biotech exported. Both businesses have refuted the accusations, and both are under investigation.
More recently, in April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the alarm over tainted cough syrups produced by QP Pharmachem Ltd, a company based in Punjab, that were discovered in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. Trillium Pharma, a company based in Hyderabad, promoted the cough syrups.