66 children in Gambia died after consumption of four cough syrups made by an Indian Pharmaceutical Company and subsequently the drugs have been recalled by the West African country.
This brings the spotlight back on quality monitoring and due diligence by companies and the need for stricter policing by regulators-Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), and the state-level drug controlling organizations. India is treated as a Pharmacy of the world with one-third of the global drugs sold being manufactured in India. And India too had its fair share of medical tragedies. As recently as September 2022, five patients died due to an anesthetic injection in Chandigarh. Similar tragedies were reported in February 2020 and October 2018. With 3000 companies and over 10,500 manufacturing units in the country, in view of the sensitivity involved in the matter, effective monitoring is indeed an uphill task. We should develop a robust system of reporting adverse events. Maybe we need to play a more active role as an individual and report to the authorities at the earliest inkling of spurious drugs. And they too need to react fast, like the police act on criminals.
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