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Drug regulators stop production at 18 firms in drive against spurious medicines

Central and state drug regulators on Tuesday carried out a special drive against pharmaceutical companies allegedly producing spurious or adulterated medicines.

As part of the drive, authorities either cancelled licences or suspended production at 18 companies. Drug regulators also issued show cause notices to 26 firms.

The Drugs Controller General of India, along with state authorities, inspected pharmaceutical companies in 20 states on Tuesday.

The authorities have identified 203 companies to be inspected as part of the drive. Himachal Pradesh accounts for the largest number of such firms (70), followed by Uttarakhand (45) and Madhya Pradesh (23), according to PTI.

The drive took place in the context of concerns about the quality of drugs manufactured by Indian companies.

On January 12, the World Health Organization had recommended not using two cough syrups – Dok 1 Max syrup and Ambronol – produced by Noida-based Marion Biotech, on account of their “substandard” quality.

The global health body had said that both syrups “contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants” as per laboratory analysis carried out by the authorities in Uzbekistan. The two organic compounds are fatal and can attack the nervous system.

On December 27, Uzbekistan’s health ministry said that 18 children had died after consuming the Dok 1 Max syrup.

Last week, the...

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