Ex-employee to blame for shuttered testing lab, president says
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 8:36AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:31AM EST
The president of a chemical-testing laboratory says an "accident" is to blame for her company losing its licence pending an investigation of claims it falsified test results.
Chemi Pharmaceutical Inc. President Mariana Stavrikov said Wednesday, in the wake of the licence suspension, that she's working with consultants to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"We have our quality system in place, and that accident happened because of an ex-employee of Chemi Pharmaceutical falsified the results," Stavrikov told CTV's Canada AM.
The assistant deputy minister of the Health Products and Food Branch -- Canada’s federal regulator -- said his primary concern is not how bogus test results may have been arrived at, however.
"The fact is, we don't really care how this happened. It happened. Test results were falsified," Paul Glover told Canada AM, explaining that "good manufacturing processes" such as having two people sign off on all test results, for example, should preclude such cases from happening.
"They didn't contest those results and so it was based on that acknowledgement the samples we found were real -- and we found numerous examples -- that led us to pull the licence," Glover said.
The RCMP has also been called to investigate the company.
Nevertheless, Stavrikov said after 11 years in business, she stands behind the safety of her Mississauga, Ont.-based company's products.
"I'll buy them, I'll take them, give them to my children and my loved ones," she said.
In a teleconference briefing media about the licence suspension Tuesday, Glover said Health Canada was working with companies supplied by Chemi Pharmaceutical to re-test at least 53 products ranging from veterinary drugs to natural health products, ingredients for food products and medicinal drugs.
"We have the full cooperation of all of the companies ... so they've agreed to do a stop sale with us until they can determine whether those products are safe," Glover said Wednesday. "And the good news is, from yesterday to today, the number of products we're concerned about has been reduced by 23."
Stavrikov said her company is also taking steps to ensure the safety of its products, including re-testing them, reviewing its manufacturing and testing processes and hiring a new quality assurance manager.
A complete list of the affected products is available at Health Canada's website.