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Ministry of Health says Brodies Knew the Rules

The Ministry of Health has responded to James Brodie & Company Ltd.’s press release about a shipment of pharmaceutical products being denied entry into Belize.  The Ministry pointed out it informed stakeholders in November 2016 that in 2017 there would be a Statutory Instrument that required labeling and documentation of all pharmaceutical products to be in English and/or Spanish.  Of all the companies that imported products in a different language, James Brodie and Company stood alone and continued to import the same products. This includes ZIOTIS which claimed to be coming from England but was from Turkey.  The Ministry said it wrote Brodies on June 21 informing them that any shipment that is on its way will not be allowed into the country unless they have been granted approval prior to its arrival. Brodies proceeded to import the container which showed that all product labels and patient leaflet information were in Turkish; no affixed English or Spanish labels were found. Also noted were changes in names, manufacturer, batch number, and expiry date. There was also a higher quantity than that declared on the invoice for importation. An undeclared product invoice also appeared on the shipment. There were five shipments on hold since June 2018, however, the Ministry released four based on the company’s compromise that they will be submitting all necessary documentation, of which only one has been received. For the ZIOTIS shipment on hold, the Ministry continued its plea to return to its supplier due to the significant discrepancies, but it is regrettable to note that ZIOTIS could not accept the return even after these were flagged. At no time did Brodies clarify these discrepancies to the Ministry, moreover, provide any proof of authenticity and quality of the products.  The Ministry stresses that No pharmaceutical company has been authorized to re-label or re-package pharmaceuticals that are not in English and/or Spanish. There is also a procedure set in place for patients who wish to import their medication to the country and also for all those patients who bear a rare disease.