11 Dec 2008

Samoan medicines sold in NZ recalled

6:08 pm on 11 December 2008

The Ministry of Health is warning the public to stop using three unapproved medicines manufactured in Samoa and sold in New Zealand.

The products have been recalled from 48 retailers.

Director-general of Health Stephen McKernan says Baby Magnesia, Vai Lafa and Vai Tane have not been tested for safety and effectiveness.

Mr McKernan says the Baby Magnesia product contains citric acid, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium carbonate and is being sold as suitable for babies as young as three months old.

Mr McKernan says without testing, he believes the product is unsafe.

Manufacturer Maria's Healthcare Pharmacy Apia says the other two products are intended to treat ringworm and other fungal infections.

Mr McKernan says anyone who feels unwell after using the products should see a doctor.

Medsafe compliance manager Derek Fitzgerald says the Health Ministry wants to hear from anyone about retailers still stocking them.

"Medsafe is certainly interested in hearing about any other products ... that may have pharmacy labels on them that are not being sold from pharmacies or that have foreign labels on them, or labels that are not in English."