1 May 2003

Cook Islands to check safety of some Australian drugs

4:28 pm on 1 May 2003

Fears over faulty drugs from an Australian company have spread to the Pacific, with authorities in the Cook Islands checking to see if their stocks are safe.

The secretary of health, Vaine Teokotai, says his staff have already gone through their own ministry stocks, and so far he says they have not come up with anything directly from Pan Pharmaceuticals - the company under investigation in Australia for falsifying records.

Drugs from the company have been pulled off the shelves in New Zealand.

But the Cook Islands ministry of health is concerned some basic ingredients from the Australian pharmaceutical may have been used by New Zealand drug manufacturers.

Mr Teokotai says they are expecting word from New Zealand health authorities in the next few days about the ingredients.

Cook Islands Trading Corporation pharmacist Barbara Moore says she understands there are three drugs in particular that are being looked at closely for any links with the Australian company.