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Kenya recalls J&J children’s cough syrup over suspected toxicity

Kenya recalls J&J children’s cough syrup over suspected toxicity
Image: Donna Lewis / Media24 / Gallo

NAIROBI, April 11 (Reuters) - Kenya's drug regulator is recalling a batch of Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N children's cough syrup, it said on Thursday, a day after Nigeria recalled the same batch of medication under the Benylin Paediatric brand.

Nigeria’s health regulator said laboratory tests on the syrup showed a high level of diethylene glycol, which has been linked to the deaths of dozens of children in Gambia, Uzbekistan and Cameroon since 2022 in one of the world’s worst waves of poisoning from oral medication.

Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) said in a statement it had commenced investigations and advised that sales of certain batches of the product be halted and returned to suppliers.

Kenvue KVUE.N, which now owns the Benylin brand after a spin-off from J&J last year, said it was engaging with Nigeria’s health regulator and conducting its own assessment to verify the authenticity of the sampled product, testing methodology and results.

“We take this matter very seriously and are acting with urgency to conduct a thorough safety and quality assessment,” Kenvue said in a statement.

The batch being recalled was made by J&J in South Africa in May 2021 with an expiration date of April 2024, the PPB said.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland; editing by David Evans and Leslie Adler)

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