By Analou De Vera
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently ordered padlocked a drugstore in Lipa City Public Market in Batangas province for allegedly selling counterfeit over-the-counter medicines.
Retired Police Gen. Allen Bantolo, Chief of the FDA Regulatory Enforcement Unit (REU), identified the said drugstore as Noemi’s Pharmacy, owned by a certain Noemi Hernandez, located at the second floor of the Lipa City Public Market.
Bantolo said the drugstore was found to be selling or distributing counterfeit Unilab products, specifically Mefenamic Acid Dolfenal 500 mg tablets, “a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that reduces hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.”
The FDA conducted a surveillance and test-buys after receiving reports that the said establishment is selling “counterfeit Unilab products.”
“The pharmacy was padlocked and this was witnessed by some members of the Lipa City PNP Office, and the pharmacy’s staff,” said Bantolo.
The agency said that they obtained certifications from Ms. Francheliza Cabarle, Unilab quality assurance officer, “confirming the FDA agents’ suspicion.”
“Ms. Cabarle said the Mefenamic Acid Dolfenal 500 mg tablets being sold at Noemi’s Pharmacy were counterfeit because the Lot Number is not traceable in [their] system and tablet color, security mark, knurling, print color, and appearance are different from standard,” the FDA said.
The agency said that it would file criminal charges against the owner of the pharmacy for violation of Section 6 (b) of Republic Act 8203 or Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs.