Sunday, November 12, 2006

Polish Drug Companies operated unregulated.

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in a high profile personal visit to the site, ordered a pharmaceutical company, Jelfa Drug Company, in Poland shut down because it had put onto the market a product that did not contain the medication stated on the label.

Prime Minister Kaczynski did not mention that the pharmaceutical companies in Poland had been operating unregulated since December of last year when the old regulations expired. And he did not mention that new regulations would be put in place immediately.

There have been conflicting reports about whether the Polish Government knew of the mislabeled medication for months and either covered it up or took no action. One report in Poland says "The labelling mistake was first discovered a month ago, when two women collapsed after being treated with the medicine. Until now the manufacturer and the Health Ministry failed to inform of the danger." See

The company was taken over earlier this year by AB Sanitas, the largest drug producer in neighbouring Lithuania. It admitted that the error was theirs.

But the Polish Government said that the consignment had been produced in 2005, when Jelfa still belonged to the Polish state. See

The company is to remain shut down until the Polish government is satisfied that it can safely produce medications. The producer is contesting the shutdown See

Furthermore, the decision to shut down the plant has been questioned by the Lithuanian Prime Minister who said that he would try to set things straight through diplomatic channels. See

The situation is confusing and affecting the employees who are now not working. They are being penalized for an error being made when the Polish Government was operating the plant. And some see the shutdown as a political move to mask the Polish Government's failure to inform the public immediately of the problem and also to allow drug companies to operate unregulated since December of last year.