13 Mar 2009

Warnings issued over Samoan and Tongan medicine

5:47 pm on 13 March 2009

The Ministry of Health has issued a warning over four unapproved medicines made in Samoa and Tonga and being sold in New Zealand.

The director general of health, Stephen McKernan, says three of the medicines are labelled as originating from Multipharm in Apia, while the fourth product appears to be from Tonga.

Mr McKernan says the safety and efficacy of the products - Multipharm Fluid Magnesia, Vai Lafa for ringworm, Vai Tane for fungal infections and Vaikahi Mixture for bloating and constipation - are not known.

He says medicines must be assessed and approved for treatment and labelled in English before they can be sold in New Zealand.

The medical safety authority Medsafe is continuing to investigate the matter.