Health Ministry Issues Public Warning Over 'Renegade' Tel Aviv Pharmacy

The Netzach Yisrael pharmacy makes its own creams, syrups and salves, and sells them to clients throughout the country.

The Health Ministry's Tel Aviv district has ordered a local pharmacy to stop making its own pharmaceutical preparations and warned the public not to use any of their treatments which have been made this year.

The warning relates to the Netzach Yisrael pharmacy, which is situated at 11 Netzach Yisrael Street in Tel Aviv.

Nir Keidar

The pharmacy makes its own creams, syrups and salves, and sells them to clients throughout the country.

Health Ministry inspectors discovered allegedly serious infractions during an unscheduled visit to the pharmacy two weeks ago, one of several checks that Health Ministry inspectors make as part of their work.

In their report, the inspectors noted that the pharmacy was not keeping records of the products it was making and alleged that some of the raw materials had been purchased from sources not supervised by the ministry.

The inspection also uncovered products whose expiration date was arbitrarily determined rather than via the usual professional criteria.

This raised concerns over the efficacy of the products as well as the possibility that "they could affect patients in an undesirable way," a senior Health Ministry official said.

The Health Ministry prohibited the pharmacy from continuing to prepare its own products and allowed it to continue selling only finished products.

It also issued a warning to consumers not to use any product produced by the pharmacy after January 1, 2011 due to concern over their quality.

The warning asks clients to send any such products to the district offices of the Health Ministry's pharmacy department.

The Health Ministry also demanded that the Netzach Yisrael pharmacy replace its pharmacist management by June 15 or face closure.

The ministry's district officer said the pharmacy investigation has not been completed, and that it is being assisted by other Health Ministry departments.

A senior ministry official said: "Unscheduled visits are part of the ministry's standard work, but the current findings are unusual, particularly as this is a pharmacy that makes its own products to a very great extent and sends them to people throughout the country."