WASHINGTON, May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Criminals targeting the Hispanic community in Texas distributed fake over the counter medicines described to be children's antibiotics to pharmacies across the state, sparking a state investigation and a warning to parents. The products, dietary supplements sold under names that very closely resemble the names of legitimate antibiotics and marketed primarily to Spanish-speaking consumers, have caused adverse reactions that require hospital visits, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
"The maker of these products has no scruples and is preying upon parents of children to make a quick buck. They use deception and jeopardize the health of children; this type of fraudulent marketing is unacceptable and despicable," said Marv Shepherd, President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines. "The U.S. has one of the safest drug systems in the world, but even one fake pill that harms one man, woman or child is too many. It is a situation like this that makes our efforts to fight counterfeit medicines all the more urgent."
"This targeted attack on the Hispanic community is alarming and dangerous, which is why we are working with PSM to alert members of our community in Texas to this public health threat. We have to ensure that parents are aware of this fraud and the fact that some of these products may still be on the shelves or in their medicine cabinets at home," said Gus West, chairman of The Hispanic Institute. "We urge consumers who are concerned about medicines they have purchased to contact the DSHS for assistance."
Officials say the products are available in capsule, syrup and other forms and sold under names such as Amoxilina, Pentrexcilina, Ampitrexyl, Citricillin, Amoximiel and Pentreximil. DSHS is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to investigate the situation and identify the source of the products and if they have been found in other states. Stores have been asked to remove the products from their shelves, and consumers should discard any that they have purchased.
About the Hispanic Institute:
The Hispanic Institute (http://www.thehispanicinstitute.org/) is a 501 (c) 3 designated nonprofit organization that provides an effective education forum for an informed and empowered Hispanic America.
Comprised of more than 60 non-profit organizations, the Partnership for Safe Medicines is a public health group committed to the safety of prescription medicines and protecting consumers against counterfeit, substandard or otherwise unsafe medicines. PSM can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SafeMedicines), Twitter (@safemedicines), and the web at www.safemedicines.org.
SOURCE The Hispanic Institute