According to the WHO, unacceptable levels of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol were detected in tested samples of Guaifenesin TG syrup manufactured by Punjab-based QP Pharmachem.
Both compounds are toxic and can be fatal if consumed.
The statement did not specify whether anyone had fallen ill.
Months earlier, the World Health Organization linked several other cough syrups made in India to child deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan.
Sudhir Pathakmanaging director of QP Pharmachem, told the BBC that the company had sent the disputed shipment – which contained 18,346 bottles – originally exported to Cambodia, after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. He underlined: he does not know how the product got to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. He added that his company had taken legal action in the matter.
According to the WHO announcement, the preparation used to alleviate the symptoms of cough was investigated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia. The announcement highlighted that
neither the specified manufacturer nor the distributor has provided a guarantee to the World Health Organization regarding the safety and quality of the products.
The syrup was marketed by Trillium Pharma, based in the Indian state of Haryana.
India is one of the world’s largest exporters of pharmaceuticals and primarily supplies to developing countries.
In recent months, several Indian companies have come under scrutiny for the quality of their drugs, and experts have raised concerns about the manufacturing practices used to make the drugs.
In October, the WHO issued a global alert after it linked four cough suppressants made by India’s Maiden Pharmaceuticals to child deaths in Gambia. Both the Indian government and Maiden Pharmaceuticals have denied the allegations.
In March, India revoked the manufacturing license of a company whose cough suppressants were linked to the deaths of 18 children in Uzbekistan.
Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the Indian manufacturer of eye drops linked to three deaths and serious infections in the US had violated several safety regulations.
The cover image is an illustration. Source: Getty Images