In response to reports of illness and fatalities among children in African and Arab nations linked to Indian-manufactured cough syrup, the government has taken decisive action.
Starting June 1, cough syrup exporters will be required to undergo mandatory testing of their products in designated government laboratories before shipping them overseas.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a notification on Monday i.e. May 22, stating that the export of cough syrup will be permitted only after laboratory testing of the product sample.
The designated government laboratories for product testing include the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, Regional Drug Testing Lab (RDTL) in Chandigarh, Central Drugs Lab (CDL) in Kolkata, Central Drug Testing Labs (CDTL) in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai, RDTL in Guwahati, and the drug testing labs accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) under state governments.
In a move to reaffirm India's dedication to ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical exports, the central government has decided to implement a pre-quality check process for exported cough syrup formulations.
This step aims to strengthen India's commitment to maintaining high standards in the pharmaceutical industry.
In response to global concerns over the quality of cough syrup manufactured in India, the government has implemented this measure.
Incidents were reported in Gambia and Uzbekistan last year, where India-made cough syrup was allegedly linked to the unfortunate deaths of 66 and 18 children, respectively.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, the value of cough syrup exports from India reached $17.6 billion, showcasing a growth from the previous year's figure of $17 billion in 2021-22.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry holds a prominent position as a manufacturer and exporter of medical products worldwide. Its reach extends from highly developed nations to low and middle income countries (LMICs).