The manufacturing licence of the Noida plant of pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech has been cancelled by the Uttar Pradesh drug regulator, authorities told Scroll on Wednesday.

The license had been revoked after Uzbekistan’s health ministry said on December 27 that 18 children had died after consuming Dok 1 Max syrup manufactured by the company. Two days later, the Indian government said that samples of the medicine have been sent for testing.

“Based on the 22 adulterated samples found from Marion Biotech, the state government took a decision to permanently cancel their license to manufacture,” SK Chaurasia, the drug licensing authority in Uttar Pradesh, told Scroll.

Chaurasia said the notice to cancel the licence was issued last week.

On March 3, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested three employees of the pharmaceutical firm. This was after a drug inspector of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation filed a complaint in the matter.

On January 12, the World Health Organization had recommended not using two cough syrups – Dok 1 Max syrup and Ambronol – produced by Marion Biotech, on account of their “substandard” quality.

The global health body had said that both syrups “contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants” as per laboratory analysis carried out by authorities in Uzbekistan. The two organic compounds are fatal and can attack the nervous system.

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