Director of Health Services clarifies his social media post

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Updated: July 12, 2017

There has been much alarm on social media over a post made by the Department of Health Services on counterfeit Vicks. The tag on that post states quote, “the issue of pharmaceuticals remains a central issue and our key issue remains safeguarding the health of all. This was identified as counterfeit Vicks, an OTC in Belize but which nonetheless can bring about other health issues with much less benefits than we use them for in Belize. The counterfeit product is being reported by Venezuelan authorities and reminds us to remain vigilant for all the many products currently in our market,” end of quote. The post gained much attention and today Director of Health Services Marvin Manzanero says the message may have been misinterpreted.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero – Director of Human Services
“We posted an element and a photo of a product that Venezuelan authorities had flagged us as a fake Vicks product. That was signaled to us I believe on Monday of this week so we had posted a note on our page for social media but our concern was highlighting the issue of fake or falsified pharmaceutical products. I don’t think we were overly concerned or are concerned with Vicks given one, it is an over the counter medication and the other is because there is little scientific evidence that proves it has any clinical value. I think our energies are concerned in terms of the other pharmaceutical products that can be falsified or can be a fake product that can be making its way into the Belize market which is one of the reasons why we have tightened our regulation of the importation of pharmaceuticals.

Dalila Ical
“What would be some of the pharmaceuticals that you are talking about?”

Dr. Marvin Manzanero – Director of Human Services
“Pharmaceuticals is medicines that are being sold through the pharmacies, I mean the common medication for Diabetes, Hypertension and that is one of the reasons why we started requesting that all products at least under the government tender process now are required to have a GMB certificate or a CPP or a COA certificate before we allow the importation into Belize to make sure they are in point of pack the product that they are alleged to be.