Four cough and cold syrup products produced by Maiden Pharmaceuticals in India, which were linked to the death of 66 children in Gambia, are not registered medicines in Malaysia, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The four products are Promethazine Oral Solution, Kofexmalin Baby Cough Syrup, Makoff Baby Cough Syrup and Magrip N Cold Syrup.
He said that, however, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA) will continue to monitor the quality, safety and effectiveness of medicines in this country.
“MoH will inform the public of developments from time to time,” he said in a statement on Facebook.
This came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an alert over four cough and cold syrups manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceuticals.
At the same time, the United Nations (UN) health agency also cautioned the contaminated medications may have been distributed outside the West African country, with ‘global exposure possible’.
Pesticide found in Mi Sedaap products
On another note, Dr Noor Hisham also informed that the Ministry detected ethylene oxide, a pesticide which has been banned as a food additive under the Food Regulations 1985, in two Indonesian Mi Sedaap products.
The affected Korean Spicy Chicken Instant Noodles product has an expiry date of 21 May 2023 while the Korean Spicy Soup Instant Noodles expires on 17 March 2023.
Dr Noor Hisham explained that ethylene oxide is a chemical gas compound that is carcinogenic to humans and is often used for fumigation to eliminate pests such as insects.
He shared that while the country does import these products, it has not noted products with the said expiry date.
“MoH will continue to monitor the market and impose the Hold, Test and Release (HTL) measures at all entry points of the country,” he said.
For more information regarding this issue, contact the nearest District Health Office or visit the website http://moh.spab.gov.my or the Facebook page of the Food Safety and Quality Division.