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Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe participate in Africa-wide recall of J&J cough syrup, reports ET HealthWorld



Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe join African recall of J&J cough syrup, ET HealthWorld

Health regulators in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe have joined Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in recalling a batch of Johnson & Johnson children’s cough syrup due to high levels of toxicity found in laboratory tests. The syrup, used to treat coughs and allergic reactions in children, contains dangerously high levels of diethylene glycol, a substance linked to fatal poisonings in other countries.

The recalled batch of Benylin Paediatric syrup was manufactured by J&J in South Africa in May 2021, and ownership of the brand has since been transferred to Kenvue. Tanzania’s Medicines and Medical Devices Authority initiated the recall on April 12 following reports of the Nigerian test results. The aim of this recall is to ensure that the affected drugs are removed from the market to prevent harm to consumers.

Despite not reporting any adverse events related to the syrup, Kenya’s drug regulator is awaiting test results, while Rwanda’s Food and Drugs Authority issued a precautionary recall. In Zimbabwe, the Medicines Control Agency expressed concerns about illegal distribution of the syrup and vowed to increase inspections to prevent its entry into the market.

Kenvue, the current owner of the brand, stated that they are conducting their own assessment and collaborating with health authorities to determine the necessary course of action. The situation underscores the importance of rigorous testing and monitoring of pharmaceutical products to safeguard public health and prevent potentially harmful substances from reaching consumers.

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