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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, June 17, 2011
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NBI seizes ‘counterfeit’
meds from drug stores

National Bureau of Investigation agents yesterday seized several boxes of alleged counterfeit medicines from seven branches of Sincere Drug Store and the storage facility of their supplier in Bacolod City.

Ricky Enriquez, owner of the Sincere chain of drug stores, told Aksyon Radyo Bacolod that the raids conducted on his establishments were unfair as he was singled out.

NBI-Bacolod head Jose Ermie Monsanto yesterday said the raid was conducted by the Intellectual Property Rights Division of NBI Manila on the complaint of Unilab Laboratories.

The raids were conducted from 2:30 p.m. until 9 last night on the strength of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Amor Reyes of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Region Branch 21, Monsanto said.

The raids were held at the Sincere Drug Store Burgos, Libertad, Dela Rama Center, Gatuslao, Centroplex and Gonzaga branches and at the warehouse of the supplier in Purok Dawis in Brgy. 14, Monsanto said.

Among the medicines they seized were Alaxan, Biogesic, Aspilets, Sulmux, Diatabs and Insulin, Monsanto said.

Enriquez said his chain of drugstores was singled out because he stopped purchasing medicines directly from Unilab since five years ago.

He believes that this could be a form of retaliation as he had looked for a cheaper distributor, Enriquez said,  adding that he is not the only one who purchases medicine from the same supplier.

Despite this, Monsanto said Enriquez could face charges for violation of Section 155 in relation to Section 170 of the Republic Act 8293 or the Intellectual Property Rights Code of the Philippines.

Monsanto said the representative of Unilab verified that the medicines seized were counterfeit, adding that these have no effects at all on patients.

Monsanto reminded the public to be cautious and make sure that the medicines they purchase are not counterfeit and at the same time warned other drug stores in Bacolod that they, too, will not be spared.*APN




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