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Second Valium Manufacturer Arrow Recalls Medication After Fears of Tampering at Sydney Factory

Patients are again being warned not to take their valium tablets after a second pharmaceutical company recalled the medication over evidence of drug tampering.

Batches of Arrow Pharmaceuticals Valpam 5 5 mg tablets have been affected by the same alleged tampering that prompted pharmaceutical company Roche to recall its 5mg valium medication, Fairfax Media understands.

Issuing an alert late Friday evening, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said blister pack sheets containing the medicines had been substituted for other medications in some boxes of Valpam 5.

It is understood the tampering of both valium batches are linked to an alleged theft at a factory in Rydalmere.

The TGA and NSW Police are investigating.

Authorities suspect a single employee had been stealing the valium blister packs for some time and swapping in other medications of roughly the same weight, inserting them into the valium boxes to disguise the crime, it is understood.

“If a patient has an affected pack, there is a risk that they will not have adequate supply of their medicine and could take the incorrect medicine, which could have serious health consequences,” the TGA advised.

Authorities do not believe many packets are affected and it is unlikely tampered packs of Valpam left the factory, but are recalling them all as a precaution, it is understood.

Valium – the brand name for the medication containing diazepam – is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and muscle spasms. Approximately 30,000 packs are distributed every month, Roche estimates.

Pharmacies have be warned to keep a look out for erroneous medication turning up in the prescription-only valium packs.

The substitute tablets may include Amlodipine, a drug to treat high blood pressure. The drug’s manufacturer, Sandoz, has also recalled a limited batch of this drug, with the TGA stating packs of the medication may have been dispensed with missing blister sheets.

A similar warning was issued in late May after pharmaceutical company Roche issued a recall of its 5mg valium tablets.

The alleged theft was first reported May 26.

The TGA is advising anyone with the tablets to immediately take them to their pharmacist, where a refund and alternate medicine can be arranged.

NSW Police said “inquiries into the incident continue”.

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