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AG Takes Action Against Marketers of Dietary Supplement

Photo by Gretch Sanders for KUT News.
The Texas Attorney General has put a restraining order on two companies who market and sell a dietary supplement. Some Spanish speakers bought and used it thinking it was an antibiotic with a similar name.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has obtained a temporary restraining order against two companies for unlawfully marketing and selling a dietary supplement.  The AG says Houston-based San Martin Distributing Inc. and Georgia-based Multimex Distributions Inc. targeted Hispanic communities in the marketing of a dietary supplement – which has a name similar to the Spanish translation for the antibiotic Amoxicillin. 

In a KUT report that aired last week, Cynthia Rubio, a Spanish interpreter for Dell Children’s Medical Center,  said she discovered a mix up when a mother who thought she was treating her child’s ear infection with an antibiotic showed Rubio the product’s box. 

“The presentation, the colors is what we recognize and that’s how we buy it. So, she thought she was buying Amoxicillin, but she wasn’t,” Rubio said.     

Dr. Pat Crocker, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Dell Children’s said the dietary supplement isn’t harmful to children. But it could cause doctors to prescribe stronger more expensive antibiotics.

"Or in the worst case, a child with a fever who is not getting better, who the physician believes are on antibiotics, is going to get a completely different kind of more expensive, more invasive workup of blood work, x-rays and potentially even a spinal tap or lumbar puncture,” Dr. Crocker said. 

Attorney General Abbott says the companies that market and sell the dietary supplement Amoxilina are violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act