Assessing the impact of the Pan recall

Related tags Pan pharmaceuticals Manufacturing

Repercussions of Australia's largest ever medicines recall
involving contract manufacturer Pan Pharmaceuticals, will hit the
natural health industry hard, and could also concern food

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says it has contacted food manufacturers and food retailers to ensure that any food products containing ingredients supplied by Pan Pharmaceuticals, the company which earlier this week provoked Australia's largest ever medicines recall, are removed from sale.

On Monday we reported​ that the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia's medicines regulation body, had found the company to be involved in irregular manufacturing practices.These included substitution of ingredients, manipulation of test results and substandard manufacturing processes. The regulator has suspended Pan Pharmaceuticals' licence for six months.

The findings, leading to a major recall of more than 200 products made by Pan Pharmaceuticals, will have a severe impact on the country's natural health industry. Not only is the company Australia's largest contract manufacturer of complementary medicines such as herbal, vitamin, mineral and nutritional supplements, but at the time of the recall, the TGA issued an urgent warning to consumers to avoid all vitamin and herbal products.

A report in The Age​ referred to a statement from Allan Crosthwaite, of the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia, who called the news a 'devastating blow' for the industry.

The TGA's initial announcement would have caused "confusion and alarm" among consumers, he told the paper, and the trade body was also concerned about substanstial job losses with Pan Pharmaceuticals representing about 30 per cent of the natural and complementary health market in Australia.

The news will certainly impact the reputation of natural health products, despite the strong safety record of most other manufacturers.

FSANZ​ said it will work with major food manufacturers to ensure an immediate withdrawal of any products containing Pan ingredients although manufacturers have so far informed the agency that they have not sourced ingredients from Pan.

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