Gambia panel says India firm culpable for cough syrup deaths

A parliamentary committee in The Gambia has recommended prosecution of the Indian manufacturer of cough syrups suspected of causing the deaths of at least 70 children in the country.

It said Maiden Pharmaceuticals should be held accountable for exporting what it called contaminated medicine.

The WHO had issued an alert in October advising regulators to stop the sale of the syrups.

Maiden Pharmaceuticals had denied the allegations.

Government labs in India said their tests on the syrups found that they were “complying with specifications”. An Indian official said last week that the WHO was “presumptuous” in blaming the syrups.

But the global health body says it is only following its mandate and “stands by the action taken”.

After weeks of investigation, the Gambian parliamentary committee has now recommended that authorities should take tough measures, including banning all Maiden Pharmaceuticals products in the country and taking legal action against the firm.