The Uzbekistan national security service stated on Friday that four people had been arrested in connection with an inquiry into the deaths of 19 youngsters who ingested cough syrup supplied by Indian drugmaker Marion Biotech.
According to the state security service, two of those seized were senior personnel of the Scientific Centre for Standardisation of Medicines who evaded normal testing processes for the Doc-1 Max cough syrup.
Two others were Quramax Medikal executives who imported the Marion Biotech medications.
Marion Biotech announced in December 2022, shortly after the series of deaths, that company had ceased production of syrup.
The syrup included a hazardous ingredient, ethylene glycol, according to Uzbekistan’s health ministry, and was supplied in dosages higher than the prescribed dose for children, either by their parents who mistaken it for an anti-cold medicine or on the advice of pharmacists.
Cough and cold syrups manufactured by New Delhi-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals were related to the deaths of at least 70 children in Gambia, according to a parliamentary investigation.
The corporation denied any wrongdoing, and inspectors from the Indian government discovered no contamination in test samples.