Lebanon News

More fake medications seized in Bekaa Valley town

File - A general view of a village in the Bekaa. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Larger quantities of fake drugs were seized Thursday in the Bekaa Valley, east Lebanon, security sources told The Daily Star.

Early in the morning security forces and Health Ministry inspectors raided five warehouses in the Bekaa Valley town of Majdal Anjar where fake and expired medications were being kept.

The incident came after a truck full of fake drugs was seized in the town overnight, and a day after a residential home and several warehouses where unlicensed medications were allegedly being manufactured were raided in the area.

The warehouses were uncovered by the Health Ministry’s Pharmacology Department.

One of the warehouses belonged to a local supermarket.

Head of the Pharmacology Department Colette Raidy held a news conference at the Public Health Department center in the Bekaa Valley Thursday, explaining the follow-up being carried out by the ministry regarding manufacturing pharmaceuticals as well as inspection and surveillance.

“After raiding two warehouses yesterday [Wednesday], the inspection team with the support of the Internal Security Forces raided five new warehouses and seized its contents, based on the confession of the arrested Palestinian Nader Mohammad Zeidan in Majdal Anjar, who owns the two warehouses,” Raidy said.

The security forces had confiscated equipment and raw materials used to manufacture the drugs, along with cardboard packages bearing forged medical trademarks.

Raidy said all the drugs that were found were protein supplements and steroids, stressing that “all matters were under control” and medication being sold at the pharmacies was safe.

“This has no relation with promoters who sell medication in pharmacies to the consumers, but they rely on directly selling to drug users and members of unlicensed gyms,” she said.

Raidy added that the ministry, the Pharmacology Department, the inspection unit and the security forces were conducting a survey of suspected areas, and were being “decisive” and “firm” in this matter.

The Health Ministry recalled 13 kinds of medication late last month after they were discovered to be counterfeit, including Xanax and Lorazepam.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 14, 2014, on page 4.




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