The WHO is investigating whether 300 children have died from cough syrups

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The investigations focus on whether specific ingredients used by six manufacturers in India and Indonesia were supplied by the same suppliers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating whether there is a link between the manufacturers of contaminated cough syrups that may be responsible for the deaths of more than 300 children in the Gambia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. Based on the “unacceptable levels” of toxins found in the products, the entity is gathering information on the specific raw materials used by six manufacturers in India and Indonesia to produce drugs related to the recent deaths, and whether the companies used them. Obtained them from the same suppliers, with no names disclosed so far.

The WHO is also considering advising families around the world to reconsider the use of these cough products for children in general, pending any doubts about their effectiveness or whether their use compromises patient safety, the same sources said. . WHO experts are reviewing the evidence to determine whether these products are medically necessary for children or under what circumstances they should be given.

The first deaths of children from acute kidney injury were recorded in July 2022 in The Gambia, followed by cases in Indonesia and Uzbekistan. The WHO has said the deaths are linked to over-the-counter cough syrups the children were taking for common illnesses containing a known toxin, either diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol.

To date, WHO has identified six manufacturers in India and Indonesia that produced the syrups. These manufacturers have declined to comment on the investigation or have denied using contaminated materials that contributed to the deaths. Also, so far there is no evidence that said companies have committed any irregularities. “It is our top priority that there are no more child deaths from something that can be prevented,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

The United Nations Health Agency reported earlier this week that it had expanded its investigation into possible diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol contamination in cough syrups to four other countries where the same products might be on sale: Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor and Senegal. The WHO has called on other governments and the global pharmaceutical industry to implement urgent controls to remove substandard drugs from circulation and improve protocols for their distribution.

Source: La Verdad

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