Popular drug recalled after evidence of tampering

Font Size:

The Deputy Secretary of the Federal Department of Health Professor John Skerritt has issued a precautionary recall of a popular drug after evidence of tampering was found.

The product in question is Valium 5mg – a popular sedative used to treat muscle spasms, seizures and anxiety disorders.

Although there is no evidence that any patients have been harmed by this tampering, a police investigation into the allegations is under way.

Late last Thursday, Roche’s Symbion distribution facility in western Sydney notified authorities of potential product tampering. This tampering consisted of some of the blister packs containing medicines other than Valium. It appears that the aim of the tampering was to steal Valium product and exchange it with substitutes such as Pantoprazole, which is used for gastric reflux, and Stemetil, which is also used for nausea.

“This is a drug of abuse, and so it’s possible that someone who had access to that facility wanted to steal a certain amount of the drug and avoid their detection by replacing it with similar size foil blister packs of other medicines,” said Prof Skerritt.

“And we do know that drugs like Valium are of interest to criminal elements and are sold on the black market.

“We’ve identified what the replacement drugs are and certainly if they were taken by consumers and they weren’t suitable for those consumers there’s a risk of some harm. However, the appearance of those tablets is very different.”

Roche immediately notified all pharmacists in the distribution chain for this product.

Although there is only evidence of one batch being involved, Roche has decided to recall all Valium 5mg batches as a precautionary measure.

In a statement, Symbion said: “Following an internal investigation into allegations of tampering leading to the voluntary recall of some medicines being undertaken by Roche, Symbion Contract Logistics has today dismissed an employee from its Sydney-based distribution facility.”

Generic brands of diazepam should not be affected, so patients who need Valium of this dosage should be able to obtain alternative brands and supplies without any problem.

Anyone who has recently purchased Valium 5mg is advised to check the packaging, that it is not broken and all seals are intact. If you are suspicious of your medicines, please call 1800 233 950 or 1800 020 653 and report it immediately. You can also find out information at www.tga.gov.au.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Understanding anxiety: symptoms, strategies and treatments

Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia.

Is your medicine cabinet as safe as you believe?

Older Australians are facing an unprecedented overdose crisis.

Could the Government start drug testing age pensioners?

A proposal to target job seekers might eventually target all welfare.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 1
  1. 0

    I would not touch this dangerous highly addictive drug, it will make you very sick in the long run, causes dementia, rots your kidneys, and runs down your immune system.



continue reading


Five smart moves for empty nesters

So, the kids have moved out, your home is finally yours again and you have ascended to the rank of...


Why you turn down the radio when you're trying to park your car?

When you're looking for a destination, you might need to cut down the volume. Shutterstock Simon Lilburn, University of Melbourne...


Why we can expect smarter healthcare in 2021 and other tech trends

With last year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and much the same expected for 2021, it is unsurprising that healthcare...

Mental Health

Drug trial offers rare hope on Alzheimer's disease

There is finally a glimmer of hope in the fight against Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, which affects...


How the pandemic has turbocharged the pet care industry

Pet care is a big business, and the pandemic has made it bigger. An Animal Medicines Australia report says Australians...

Travel News

Australian government divided on lifting overseas travel ban

The federal government is divided about when international air travel will recommence for Australians, as consumers signal their intent to...


Dietitian reveals the breakfast swaps worth making

If you're looking to live a healthier lifestyle, breakfast is a good place to start. It's the first meal of...

Finance News

COVID driving more older Australians into poverty

Many of us who endured lockdowns in Australia are familiar with the surge in energy bills at home. But for...