The Ministry of Health has demanded that 22 derivatives of the drug Omeprazole be taken off the market as they do not meet the legal safety requirements of the Spanish Agency for Medicine and Health Products have put in place.
The Malaga-based company Farma-Quimica Sur, which developed the 22 suspect forms of Omeprazole, gets the active ingredient from Indian pharmaceutical company Smilax Laboratories Limited.
Omeprazole is estimated to be taken daily by 8.5 per cent of Spaniards and it is the most consumed drug on the market with a total of 54 million packets being produced in 2015 alone according to the Annual Report of the National Health System.
Omeprazole is available as a prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug used as a treatment for frequent heartburn. This drug is also used as a treatment of other conditions such as the management of gastric or duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal and hypersecretory conditions (conditions where your stomach makes too much acid). With common side effects such as headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and nausea.
The Ministry of Health put the 22 faulty packets of Omeprazole in the most dangerous category, ‘class 1’ out of three possible classes on the risk assessment scale. All of the autonomous communities have been ordered to surrender these drugs immediately.