Uzbekistan cough syrup deaths | Three employees of Noida-based pharma firm arrested

The arrests come after an FIR was lodged late Thursday night against five officials of Marion Biotech, including two of its directors

March 03, 2023 04:41 pm | Updated 10:10 pm IST - Noida

Logo of Marion Biotech, a healthcare and pharmaceutical company is seen on a gate outside their office in Noida on December 29, 2022.

Logo of Marion Biotech, a healthcare and pharmaceutical company is seen on a gate outside their office in Noida on December 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Noida police arrested three employees of a pharmaceutical firm on charges of manufacturing and selling adulterated drugs in connection with the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan last year, officials said on Friday.

Police said the cough syrup was alleged to have led to the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan.

A First Information Report was registered on Thursday against five officials of Marion Biotech, after a complaint was filed by a Drugs Inspector of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the police said.

“While the directors are absconding, teams have been formed to apprehend them,” the police said.

Also read: Uzbekistan cough syrup case | Marion Biotech’s production licence suspended; WHO issues medical product alert

Central and Uttar Pradesh drug authorities had checked samples of Marion Biotech products and found 22 of them to be “not of standard quality” (adulterated and spurious), according to the complainant Drug Inspector.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Noida) Rajiv Dixit said three persons associated with Marion Biotech were arrested on Friday. These people were engaged in preparation and sale of fake drugs which caused serious harm to public.

According to the police, a comprehensive legal investigation would be carried out in the case.

The arrested were Tuhin Bhattacharya, head (operations); Atul Rawat, manufacturing chemist; and Mool Singh, analytical chemist.

Also read:Cough syrup deaths | India seeks details from Uzbekistan on investigations

The absconding directors who have been booked are: Jaya Jain and Sachin Jain.

The FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code Sections 274 (adulteration of drugs), 275 (sale of adulterated drugs), 276 (sale of drug as a different drug or medical preparation) as well as under Section 17 (misbranded drugs) and related violations of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

Marion Biotech, in Noida’s Sector 67, had come under the scanner in December last year for its cough syrup Dok-1 that is suspected to have led to the death of 18 children who consumed it in Uzbekistan after which the CDSCO launched a probe into the matter.

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