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Task Force Recommends Government Sue Atlantic, Maiden Pharma Over AKI Drugs

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Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health

By Buba Gagigo

Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health of the Gambia, announced that the Presidential Task Force on Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) has recommended that the Gambian government take legal action against Atlantic Pharmaceutical and Maiden Pharmaceutical.

“The government of the Gambia through the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs should forthwith explore the possibility of instituting further legal action against Atlantic pharmaceuticals and Maiden pharmaceuticals and should engage with the Government of India to seek criminal and civil redress on behalf of families of the victims of AKI outbreak,” the minister said while unveiling the report recommendations on Friday.

Minister Samateh stated that the government is in the advanced stages of exploring legal options against Atlantic Pharmaceuticals and Maiden Pharmaceuticals, as well as potential redress through engagement with the Government of India, in response to the task force’s recommendation.

“The government of the Gambia is currently benefiting from legal advice from a top tier legal law firm that will support us in carrying this out,” the minister revealed.

An outbreak of cases of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) among children was detected in the Gambia in July 2022. Diethylene glycol (DEG) and Ethylene glycol (EG) were detected in samples of medicines analyzed in Ghana, France, and Switzerland and led to the withdrawal of many pediatric medicines from the market. The contaminated products were all manufactured by Maiden Pharmaceutical Company.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that at least 70 children died in the Gambia as a result of these contaminated cough syrups from Maiden Pharmaceutical Company in India.  

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