Belo employees 'confused and scared' by FDA, police during inspection
MANILA, Philippines – The Belo Medical Group (BMG) responded to reports that it may face administrative and criminal charges for selling of unregistered cosmetic products, saying it is cooperating with authorities to properly settle the matter with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In a statement, BMG said the surveillance of their Alabang clinic "pertained to registration issues of some of our products." These included ZO Medical products, which BMG said "have previously been registered, with applications for renewal of the registration already filed and pending with FDA."
The company said ZO products "have long been available in the US market and have been carefully studied and have been proven to be safe and effective."
BMG's statement did not explicitly mention the Belo products listed in the FDA roster as unregistered, but it made an offer to "pull out the products with pending registration renewal applications while we sort out all documentary requirements with FDA."
Scaring the staff
FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno earlier said some of BMG's employees "face contempt or obstruction of justice charges" for allegedly refusing to allow the regulatory agency's operatives to inspect their clinic and pharmacy.
BMG, in its defense, said the employees were "confused and scared" by the arrival of members of the FDA and policemen, who asked for their valid IDs.
Their statement added: "Also, our lawyer attempted to speak with the leader of the policemen through the phone to clarify matters. However, the head of the operation refused to speak with our lawyer on the phone."
BMG said it recognizes and shares the FDA's objective of safeguarding consumers from harmful products.
The group added, "we are cooperating with them and are finalizing our answer to the order served on our Alabang clinic." – Rappler.com