A SMS message that has been doing the rounds in Saudi Arabia claiming that the batch number 050292 of Panadol Extra which was reportedly smuggled into the kingdom will harm the kidneys and liver has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.
The medicine provides relief from fever and pain. The Ministry has further confirmed that they had been aware of this issue for about 23 days. The Pharmacists in the country's Eastern Province are as yet unaware of the recall order, and the local press reports claim that as many as 10,000 of the boxes containing the medicine are in circulation.
Other press reports claim that the batch was legally imported, but it is defective due to a faulty storage and manufacturing process.
The batch number in question is not available in Jeddah. Sources from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) maintain that the safety concerns are not genuine and are merely based on rumors. Samples of the batch have been sent back to the UK for testing, according to GSK sources. Panadol has been in use in the Kingdom for about 20 years, and GSK is confident with regard to its quality and safety standards.