DUBAI // The Ministry of Health has ordered a recall of a locally produced antacid after it was found to contain a harmful bacteria. The non-prescription antacid, called Carelox, is manufactured by Pharmacare Fze at the company's plant in Jebel Ali Free Zone. Inspectors determined during a recent inspection of the plant that the company had not conducted mandatory microbiological tests on the drug, which comes in chewable tablets and suspension form, and had falsified safety data.
On Wednesday, Dr Amin al Amiri, executive director of medical practices, affairs and licensing at the ministry, ordered that the product be removed from pharmacy shelves, as well as from all public and private medical establishments, including hospitals. "The product's failure has been proven due to the detection of very harmful bacteria in it," he said. The decision was taken swiftly to "serve the common good and protect the consumer".
The plant has been shut down until the ministry completes an investigation. Dr Amiri said ministry inspectors who visited the plant found a number of "severe violations". "The plant violated the criteria set for the production of Carelox, and the person responsible for the microbiological testing has admitted not having tested any of the drug samples for harmful bacteria. This goes against what the correct measure dictates. The person has also registered fake safety results in the report."
The company makes a many kinds of products, including analgesics, cardiovascular medications, vitamins and antihistamines. The ministry plans to investigate how the bacteria ended up in the antacid and determine if it made anybody sick. The company has also been ordered to conduct its own investigation. Both inquiries will submit their results to the ministry's pharmaceutical licensing committee.