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Právo: False pills in Czech packs probably amount to sabotage

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Prague, Sept 14 (CTK) – The placing of false pills in the packagings of some medicines produced by the Prague-seated Zentiva pharmaceutical firm, which has forced it to withdraw the medicines from patients, may have been an act of crime, a sabotage, daily Pravo writes yesterday, citing health inspectors.
Earlier this month, the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) announced the withdrawal of selected batches of the Atram 12.5, Neurol 0.25, Neurol 0.5, Oxazepam Leciva and Prednison 20 Leciva from patients as their blister packs may contain different pills as a result of the producer’s mistake.
Referring to an internal inspection in Zentiva, SUKL director Zdenek Blahuta told Pravo on Tuesday that the replacement of the pills with false ones was most probably an intentional criminal act made by a Zentiva staffer.
“The case is unique in the post-1989 history of Zentiva. It was probably sabotage, an act of revenge. A criminal complaint has already been filed in this connection,” Blahuta said.
Blahuta said he was surprised that this could happen within the production that has been strictly supervised, with only a limited number of people having access to the medicaments.
“However, I was surprised to see that there are no cameras there [to surveil the production],” Blahuta told the paper.
In addition, Zentiva is withdrawing from patients selected batches of other five medicines whose blister packs are marked correctly and contain the corresponding type of pills, but in some cases they do not correspond to the data on the packaging.
The SUKL has released the series of medicines concerned on its website along with a contact for patients to turn to in the case of undesired effects of the false medicines.

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