The Ministry of Health warns about the discovery in the country of a false antibiotic commonly used to treat various infections.
The Dirección de Regulación de Productos de Interés Sanitario, indicated that it is a false version of the drug Rocephin 1 gram. This was found after that on September 30, 2017, a pharmaceutical agent of a private pharmacy in Sarapiquí de Heredia, reported the existence of 10 bottles of Rocephin 1 gram with a different appearance to the labeling that is authorized in Costa Rica.
The bottles were taken to the pharmacy by a woman to be applied to her husband. She said that they had bought them in Nicaragua from a doctor directly at his office.
The medication was applied by the pharmacy but rather sent to Switzerland for an analysis by Roche, the pharma company that produces the original.
As explained by the Ministry of Health, the original medicine contains the active ingredient Ceftriaxone, sold under the trade name Rocephin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which is used to treat a variety of infections caused by bacteria, this includes middle ear infections, endocarditis, meningitis, pneumonia, bone and joint infections, intra-abdominal infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, and pelvic inflammatory disease and which can be administered intravenous or intramuscular.
The analysis made by the Swizz experts issued on January 15 and confirmed that the bottles are fake. In addition to this, it was determined that they contain another ingredient (cefazolin) as well as unidentified contaminants in small concentrations.
The experts also commented that the labeling, the quality, and form of the “flip-off” cap are not equivalent to genuine Roche materials and bear the “525” lot and the expiration date “06/2020” that do not correspond to legitimate lots.
The concern of the Health authorities in Costa Rica is that a counterfeit medicine can put people’s lives at risk. In this case, the risk is greater because it is a contaminated drug and under no circumstances should it be used.
This is why the Ministry of Health recommends the purchase medications only in establishments that have a “Permiso Sanitario de Funcionamiento” (Health Operating Permit).