Panadol is one of the most popularly used pain killers of the paracetamol family in Maldives.

Tainted Panadol batch prompts all-out ban

The import of the drug is restricted until the investigation is completed.

30 January 2024

By Fathmath Ahmed Shareef

The Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has temporarily banned the import, sale and use of Panadol amid investigations into the popular painkiller.

The MFDA issued an alert on Tuesday banning the import, sale and use of the commonly used Panadol (Paracetamol) tablets.

The drug, manufactured by a Sri Lankan company, has been temporarily banned after tests were conducted and suspicious aspects in the drug's packaging were found, the alert said.

The MFDA alert states:

  • A post-market surveillance plan has been developed to ensure the safety and quality of imported medicines. Random samples are being taken and quality and quantitative tests are being conducted

  • When Panadol was tested, some of the pills had become loose and crushed within the casing. This happens when it is exposed to heat, air, light or moisture that may affect the stability of the formulation or the active ingredient, which can alter the effectiveness and safety of the medicine

  • Using such drugs is likely ineffective, sometimes harmful

  • The cause of the problem is being investigated

"Therefore, pharmacies and other outlets are requested not to sell the drug until further notice. The import of the drug is restricted until the investigation is completed," the alert said.

The MFDA has also advised pharmacies, drug warehouses and general stores to separate stocks of Panadol and keep them at the prescribed storage temperature.

Some cough medicine used for children have also been found to contain toxic substances in Maldives recently. After banning the drugs in Maldives, the MFDA has begun to be more vigilant and analyze the safety of the drugs used in Maldives.