Drug store 'manufacturing' beauty products raided

PROMINENT doctors from Cebu and Manila will be investigated by the police for transacting with a drug store that manufactured unlicensed beauty and other drug products in Barangay Cambaro, Mandaue City.

Supt. Reynaldo Magdaluyo, the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) 7 chief, said they recovered a list of doctors who had transactions with American Compounding Pharmacy, Inc., where more than P10 million worth of drug products were confiscated on Monday night, October 23.

He refused to divulge the names of the doctors pending the investigation.

He said these medical practitioners may be held liable for patronizing products from an illegal manufacturer.

Magdaluyo further said the store has no permit to manufacture drug products, a violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009.

“Napakalaki nito. Imagine ang kanyang mga clients ay mga kilalang doctors from here and in Manila. Online bumibili sila sa mga health products kasi mura compared sa mga nagbayad ng buwis (This is big business. His clients are prominent doctors from Cebu and Manila. They buy the health products online because they’re cheaper compared to those sold by legitimate suppliers who pay taxes),” Magdaluyo told reporters.

RSOG 7 operatives led by Magdaluyo and FDA officials raided the drug store, serving a search warrant issued by Mandaue City Regional Trial Court Branch 56 Judge Teresita Abarquez-Galanida.

The store’s employee, Girlie Baricuatro, was caught, but its American owner David Atkinson was not around. Baricuatro was charged before the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office.

“The original license given to them by the government was for a drug store only. When you look at their office now, it is not a drug store anymore,” Magdaluyo said.

The search warrant instructed the seizure of 10 boxes of Glutathione 200mg/ml (injection); 10 boxes of Vitamin C 500mg/ml (injection); 20 gallons of Glutathione 200mg/ml (injection); and 15 gallons of Vitamin C 500mg/ml (injection).

Other items that were ordered to be seized were raw materials used in compounding, packaging materials, labeling materials, equipment used in compounding drug products, computers and receipts of sales transactions.

Magdaluyo said they also recovered ingredients for Viagra, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

A week-long surveillance confirmed the store’s activities.

The police official said they are monitoring other drug stores that violated the FDA law, saying selling unlicensed medicines can harm the public’s health. (KAL)
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