Contaminated cough syrup found in Marshall Islands, FSM
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The World Health Organization has identified a batch of contaminated Guaifenesin syrup in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Guaifenesin is an expectorant used to relieve chest congestion and the symptoms of cough. WHO said samples of the medicine from the Marshall Islands analyzed by quality control laboratories of Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration were found to contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
The product was manufactured by QP Pharmachem of Punjab, India, and distributed by Trillium Pharma of Haryana, India.
"To date, neither the stated manufacturer nor the marketer has provided guarantees to WHO on the safety and quality of these products," WHO said.
While the cough syrup was found in the FSM and Marshall Islands, WHO said the product is also being sold in other countries in the Western Pacific region.
"It may have also been distributed, through informal markets, to other countries or regions," WHO said.
"The substandard product referenced in this alert is unsafe and its use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death. Toxic effects can include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state and acute kidney injury which may lead to death," WHO said.
WHO is seeking increased surveillance and diligence within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these products.
"National regulatory authorities/health authorities are advised to immediately notify WHO if these substandard products are discovered in their respective country," WHO said.