INFARMED withdraws 20 generic medicines on sale in Portugal

In the wake of this week’s substandard meat shock (see: https://www.portugalresident.com/health-alert-over-potentially-deadly-%E2%80%9Ctime-bomb%E2%80%9D-of-food-additives-in-portugal%E2%80%99s-minced-meat), Portugal has now withdrawn from sale over 20 generic medicines manufactured in India.

The move follows irregularities found in the way clinical tests on over 1,000 of the medicines were carried out.

According to Europe’s medicines authority EMA, GVK Biosciences compromised the integrity of the tests by falsifying electrocardiogram readings over a period of five years.

The decision to withdraw 700 medicines will give the Indian manufacturer time to clean-up its act – but in the meantime, six countries have pulled the generics from their shelves.

As Público points out, the medicines (prescribed by doctors for being cheaper than their brand name counterparts) range from anti-depressants to gastric protectors, anti-histamines, analgesics, vasodilators, and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis medication.

In all, 64 of the 700 generics are authorised for sale in Portugal, but only 20 so far have made it to the pharmacy shelves.

INFARMED’s president Eurico Castro Alves said the decision to pull the meds shows how the system works, and that no patients need to be worried. The generics all have alternatives easily available on the market, he said, and there have been no complaints about them up until now.

Alves stressed nonetheless that the Portuguese should continue to “trust” generics, whose “slice of the market has now reached 47%”.

For a full list of the medication outlawed until further notice, see INFARMED’s site: http://www.infarmed.pt/portal/page/portal/INFARMED/MAIS_NOVIDADES/DETALHE_NOVIDADE?itemid=10186146

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]