…in Kenya that is.
Just like GSK’s other pain relief brand, Panadol and Panadol Extra that targets more affluent consumers, Hedex Extra was launched in Kenya as a product extension to Hedex, a companion and fighter brand against the likes of Beta Healthcare’s Mara Moja and Action in a bid to carve a bigger share of Kenya’s Sh2 billion analgesic drug market.
However, by the time Hedex Extra was brought to the market in January 2006, insiders knew that there were problems with the product’s formulation and there had been consumer complaints over the side effects of the drug.
Yesterday, it emerged in media reports that GSK had recalled Hedex Extra from the market. Business Daily’s interviews with retailers and pharmacists reveal that GSK started withdrawing the drug from the market in March and as late as last month.
Kenya’s Poisons and Pharmacy Board, which regulates the manufacture and marketing of drugs, confirmed that GSK started recalling the product in March. Until yesterday, GSK had not issued a public announcement over the product recall as industry standards requires in global medical marketing.
“In March, it was brought to our attention that there was a problem with Hedex Extra,” said Dr Wilfred Ochieng, Head of the Inspectorate division at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the governing body of the pharmaceutical industry.
However, on Thursday, GSK said the drug had been recalled because of Acetyl Salicylic Acid was breaking down too fast releasing a by-product in unusually high concentrations than was medically allowed. This was making consumers who take it to experience severe irritation in the mouth and throats and even causing stomach upsets.
Read the full story here.