International community is highly concerned over the recent death of 18 children in Uzbekistan that proved to be due to an Indian Cough Syrup manufactured in Noida India by Marion Biotech as per the Uzbekistan’s health ministry. It’s certainly not the first incident in which Indian drugs brought havoc to the lives of people. A few months back 70 kids in Gambia also died in a similar incident after consuming a cough syrup made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, India. World Health Organization’s (WHO) director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that upon investigation it was found that four medicines including the cough syrup had exceeding amount of industrial chemicals such as diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.
In the winter of 2019 a number of children in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir fell sick and eventually died after consuming contaminated cough syrup. In 2014, 13 women got killed after taking contaminated medicines in Chhattisgarh and more than 20 remained in intensive care in the state’s capital. These women were attending a family planning camp that turned out to be a flawed population control campaign. Dr. KC Urao, deputy director of the Chhattisgarh health and family welfare department, said: “After the inquiry on Wednesday it came out that it was low quality of the medicines that is responsible.” As per two senior officials in Chhattisgarh state the tablets linked to the death of these women contained a chemical compound commonly used in rat poison.
Katherine Eban an investigative journalist in her book “Bottle of lies” focused an intense spotlight over Indian generic pharmaceutical industry in the processes they follow for manufacturing medicine. The processes these industries follow do not meet the set international standards and the products manufactured are life threatening. These transgressions have been ignored mostly despite of their lethality for human lives all across the globe. The book entails a complete list of Indian Pharma industries who have been convicted of selling life threatening medicines across the globe. One such case was the Ranbaxy case in US in which Indian pharma Ranbaxy was pled guilty to selling adulterated medicine in the US. A number of leading Indian pharmaceutical companies have been cited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for behavior that is non-compliant. Moreover, the companies have also been alleged of shredding the quality records. FDA leveled severe allegations against Strides Pharma for shredding its manufacturing quality records in advance of a scheduled U.S. FDA inspection. Two weeks ago, Apotex India (Indian pharma industry) withdrew 31 abbreviated new drug applications, largely from its facilities in Bangalore and Mumbai, because it couldn’t substantiate the data filed with the FDA supporting the applications to market these drugs in the U.S.
“Bottle of Lies” documents how the FDA’s investigators repeatedly discovered falsified records at Indian plants. When a batch would fail testing, rather than destroy the batch or remedy the manufacturing process, the quality control staff at these plants generally manipulated the records to create false data that supported releasing the batch to the market.
The analysis clearly indicates that there exist a continuous chain of incidents pertaining life threatening irresponsible behaviors by India at national level. Indian drug industry has caused deaths across the globe multiple times and it reflects the level of national scrutiny on the issue. An immediate ban must be imposed on the Indian pharma industry as there are no rules and regulations at the national level to maintain international standards and there is a continuous threat to human lives around the world wherever these medicines are being exported.