HIV/AIDS drug recall update

The Public Health Department is advising that the recall of the prescription drug nelfinavir (viracept) does not apply to supplies of the medication from the USA, Canada and Japan.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kiran Kumar says that the three patients in the Cayman Islands who were prescribed this drug locally have been taken off the prescription and arrangements are being made to source supplies from the United States.

International pharmaceutical company, Roche last week advised of the recall of viracept due to contamination of the active pharmaceutical ingredient nelfinavir mesylate with methane sulfonicacid, a chemical component of viracept, produced at its factory in Switzerland.

Mr. Kumar says supplies in the Cayman Islands were from the UK hence the patients are taken off the drug.

Roche says the recall was triggered by complaints related to a bad smell of the tablets and nausea and vomiting reported as side effects by patients in several countries.

Mr. Kumar advises that any patient who may have had the prescription of viracept filled in any other jurisdiction other than the USA, Canada or Japan should immediately contact their doctor or the Public Health Department’s Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS program, nurse Pauline Ffrench, at 244-2631 for further information.

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