FDA raids medicine factory

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pathumthani Provincial Health Office, and Crime Suppression Division (CSD) raided a pharmaceutical manufacturing factory in Lam Luk Ka district of Pratum Thani province yesterday (Wednesday) and seized a huge cache of fake pain medicine and drug packaging materials.

Acting on a tip-off, the FDA officials led the raid at Bessy-Aron Co Ltd in Lum Luk Ka where they found fake Tramadol Green and Yellow capsules with Pacmadol markings.

Officials counted over 288,000 Tramadol Green and Yellow capsules, and a large number of blank capsules, other unregistered medicine and production equipments worth over 5 million baht.

FDA officials said Pacmadol was a registeted medicine but was scrapped since 2012, but are still sold on the Internet.

The FDA had earlier restricted the distribution of Tramadol or which was commonly known as Green and Yellow drugs with instruction for pharmacist to limit the drug to patients aged over 17 years only as needed, or not more than 20 capsule a time.

The restriction was issued after it was discovered the mixture of this drug and alcohol could lead to addiction or a possible overdose. Tramadol affects brain chemistry in users, reducing the body's tolerance to drinking alcohol.

Pacmadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever. Pacmadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. The extended-release form of this medicine is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. Fatal side effects can occur if this medicine is used with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow breathing.

FDA officials said the police would impose three charges against the factory owner of the factory, manufacturing fake medicine, manufacturing unregistered medicine, and manufacturing medicine outside the permitted location.

They also warned that any drugstores are found to sell tramadol against the FDA restriction and instruction, they could face suspension of their selling licences and legal prosecution.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)