x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Recalled medications still available in UAE

Pharmacies are continuing to sell more than 40 infant and child medications that were subject to a quality-standard recall yesterday.

ABU DHABI i// Pharmacies are continuing to sell more than 40 infant and child medications that were subject to a quality-standard recall yesterday. McNeil Consumer Healthcare and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement recalling children's liquid over-the-counter medications from 11 countries, including the UAE. "McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards," the company said in the statement, adding that the "potential for serious medical events is remote". "Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles," the statement read. The medications include Tylenol Infants' Drops, Children's Tylenol Suspensions, Tylenol Plus, Motrin Drops, Children's liquid Zyrtec and Children's Allergy Benadryl. The company asked pharmacies and parents to stop selling and using these medications as a precautionary measure. Several pharmacies said they had not been instructed to remove the products. Mohammed Peer, of Care Green Pharmacy in Dubai, said: "Children's Tylenol and Tylenol plus are available ... we haven't received any order to remove them from our shelves yet." Abdul Jabal, from Al Corniche Pharmacy in Dubai, also said there was no official directive to remove any children's medication. "Benadryl for children is not available. We have Zyrtec and we are currently out of stock of Tylenol and Tylenol plus for children but we will get an order soon," Mr Jabal said. Although the statement on McNeil's website only referred to these medications being sold in Dubai, some pharmacies in other emirates reported these medications being sold on their shelves. Dr Amal Rashad from Al Hakeem Land Pharmacy in Abu Dhabi, said both Children's Tylenol and Tylenol Plus in liquid and drops are still available. Dr Rashad also said there was no order to remove them from the shelves. A pharmacist from Ajman's Al Ansar Pharmacy also confirmed these medications are sold and said there was no order to remove them. Under the protocol for recalling medications, the FDA sends a memorandum to various health authorities, as well as the Ministry of Heath, which in turn issues a circular to pharmacies to removed the medications from the shelves. As the recall announcement was issued on a Friday, when authorities here are on a weekend, it could not be confirmed if such a memorandum was received. myoussef@thenational.ae