Maiden Pharma under fire for supply for Gambia children deaths, history of selling substandard drugs

Maiden Pharmaceuticals has been under pressure by investigative authorities over the death of 66 children in the Gambia who allegedly died after consuming their cough syrups.

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Maiden Pharmaceuticals has been under pressure by investigative authorities over the death of 66 children in Gambia who allegedly died after consuming their cough syrups.

On October 5, the World Health Organization issued a warning recommending regulatory bodies and the general public to stop using four medical goods produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals that had been deemed to be substandard.

WHO claims that each of these products’ laboratory analyses revealed that they each included pollutants such as diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol at prohibited concentrations.

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The Haryana-based pharma company has a track record of being embroiled in controversy over substandard medicines.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals was one of 39 Indian pharmaceutical businesses that Vietnam blacklisted for failing to meet the nation’s criteria for medicine quality, according to a right-to-information request made by attorney Prashant Reddy in 2015.

“In view of the fact that a large number of Indian companies have been listed as defaulters by the Vietnamese authorities, it is requested that necessary background checks on these companies may kindly be undertaken in India to see if there are complaints against them from other countries and steps be initiated to penalise them for bringing bad name to the Indian pharma industries abroad,” Deepak Mittal, consul general, wrote in a letter to the health secretary in 2013.

The Gujarat and Kerala governments reported defective batches of medication supplied by Maiden Pharmaceuticals at least six times in the previous nine years, according to the extended licencing, laboratory and legal node (XLN) database maintained by the Indian government.

According to Kerala government officials on the XLN database, Maiden Pharmaceuticals’ products were discovered to be of subpar quality at least five times in 2021 and 2022. The medications were produced in Haryana in all batches.

Metformin, a medication used to treat type-2 diabetes, was drawn from hospitals in Palakkad and Ernakulam by representatives of the Kerala health department in March 2022 and September 2022, respectively.

The company has been blacklisted by the Bihar government in 2011 for supplying substandard and spurious medicines several times.