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Health Ministry removes suspect toothpaste from shelves

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For information on the mass diethylene glycol poisoning incident referenced herein, see http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/3071-mass-poisoning-summer-2006-victims-protest-court-whitewash-and-seek-justice/.


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Health Ministry removes suspect  toothpaste from shelves


Posted 18/09/2019

The  Ministry of Health (Minsa) moved on  Wednesday, September 18, in Calidonia and Santa Ana, to clear shelves of toothpaste without sanitary registration.

Elvia Lao, director of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Minsa, said that the inspectors removed from the streets the toothpaste Colgate Üclü Etki which is of “doubtful origin”.

According to Minsa the toothpaste does not have a sanitary record of Panama, and supplies will be destroyed.

"We have already spoken with the Specialized Institute of Analysis of the University of Panama, so they can do the quality controls said Lao.

A warning from the Minsa  had been in place since March 2018 but distribution continued.

The Ministry clarified that this finding is not part of the same batch of toothpaste detected in Chiriquí and Divisa, Herrera, which contained diethylene glycol.



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Toothpaste alert ignites memories of Panama health tragedy


Siezed hske paste

Posted 20/09/2019

Toothpaste alert  ignites  memories of Panama health tragedy

Shadows of Panama’s worst health disaster when diethylene glycol in cough mixture killed hundreds of people and left hundreds more sick for  13 years returned to the country this week when the substance was discovered in a batch of 6,828 units of counterfeit toothpaste were seized by the National Customs Authority. in Divisa, Herrera, and 204 in operations carried out in the province of Chiriquí.

The seizure was completed after the manufacturer Colgate filed a complaint with the  Ministry of Health (Minsa) and sent the falsified samples for analysis to Guatemala, where its production plant is located. The results showed that the confiscated product contained, diethylene glycol.

José Sarmiento, spokesman for the Family Members of Patients with the Right to Health and Life, an organization representing patients who were poisoned in 2006.  CSS, after they consumed medications contaminated with diethylene glycol said:” it is regrettable" that these types of products enter the country, as they put the lives of many people at risk.

"You have to establish better controls, on the type of products," added the activist, who said that patients who consumed the medicines provided by the CSS 13 years ago are still dying.

Reports from the Committee specify that every year between 15 and 20 people die who in 2006  took  CSS medicines with diethylene glycol  Official figures show that 2,298 complaints were filed for patient poisoning.

After hearing the news about the customs seizures, the spokesman of the Committee of Relatives of Patients with the Right to Health and Life, José Sarmiento, toured informal sales outlets Calidonia and Santa Ana and found a street vendor offering $1 of toothpaste of the same brand detected by Customs.

The Colgate Üclü Etki paste product already had a health alert issued by the Minsa in 2018 but still appears on the streets

After the discovery of Sarmiento, inspectors of the Pharmacy and Drug Directorate carried out an operation and confiscated the dentifrice, considered of "doubtful origin."

According to the director of the entity, Evia Lau,  the paste has no "sanitary record" in  Panama, which is why they will order its destruction. "she said and clarified that this finding is not part of the same batch of paste detected in Chiriquí and Herrera.

In a public alert, the Minsa asked Panamanians to "be careful" when buying products on streets or informal stalls, because "cheap is expensive."



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Diethylne glycol confirmed in counterfeit toothpaste


Posted 30/09/2019

A counterfeit toothpaste detected in a store in Chiriqui contains diethylene glycol - the substance that killed or incapacitated hundreds of Panamanians. when it was discovered in cough mixture  - the Ministry of Health (Minsa), confirmed Monday, September 30.

According to the Ministry, the counterfeit products are of the Colgate Triple Action brand of 75 milliliters and would have been manufactured in Guatemala.

Although the irregular product was found and confiscated in a shop in the province of Chiriquí, the health authorities have asked the entire population to verify the lot numbering when buying the toothpaste of that brand. The lot number containing toothpaste with diethylene glycol is L9099CT1034 , with an expiration date of April 2022, they detailed.

Previously, the Department of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Minsa had said they were doing the analyzes to determine if the toothpaste contained the chemical compound or not.



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