24 Jan, 2024 @ 17:02
3 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Nolotil campaigners demand a criminal investigation into health officials in Spain following the death of a British expat, 42, who lost his life to sepsis after taking the ‘lethal’ painkiller

Have you been affected by Nolotil? Email us: tips@theolivepress.es

CAMPAIGNERS against the ‘deadly’ painkiller, Nolotil, have launched an official complaint with Spain’s public prosecution office after yet another Brit died at the hands of the drug.

The complaint calls on Spanish health officials to ‘urgently initiate a thorough investigation into the matter.’

It is led by Cristina del Campo, president of the Association for Drug Affected People (ADAF) on behalf of those affected by Nolotil. 

Cristina del Campo is leading the fight against Nolotil

READ MORE: British expat dies after taking Nolotil in Spain: Father-of-one, 42, developed sepsis after being given the ‘lethal’ painkiller for a minor golf injury

It reports the ‘crime of serious negligence affecting public administration officials,’ claiming ‘the negligent actions of these officials are currently causing damage and even deaths.’  

They said: “Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products and of the different health administrations in charge of pharmacovigilance in Spain, or people in charge of patient safety in pharmacology are not responsibly doing their job.”

The ADAF also claimed the Spanish Agency for Medicines (AEMPS) was not doing enough to communicate about the banning of Nolotil in some 40 countries across the world.

It follows a 2018 directive by the Spanish government, advising all health facilities across Spain to stop giving out the lethal painkiller without prescription, supposedly preventing it being given to Brits.

The recommendation was the result of a lengthy campaign by the Olive Press, but Del Campo claims the drug continues to be given out to vulnerable expats.

The report today asked many key questions, including: “What is happening in Spain when in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland, to give just three examples out of more than 40, the product is banned because it is highly dangerous?”

It also touched on Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that produces Nolotil’s response to claims that the drug is unsafe. 

The German pharmaceutical company claims all the side effects are listed in the medication’s information packet. 

Metamizole is the main active ingredient in Nolotil.
Photo: The Olive Press

They state: “Metamizole has been used by patients for almost 100 years, with an established and well-known safety profile.”

Addressing Boehringer Ingelheim and Spanish authorities, the report claims: “The public deserves effective and responsible pharmacovigilance. Do the reported cases of extreme seriousness after taking the drug not alert the laboratories producing it to modify the information in the package leaflet and technical data sheet? It is time to launch a criminal investigation.”

The ADAF slammed Spanish health authorities’ lack of vigilance, branding it ‘a violation of fundamental rights’ and a ‘scandalous scenario’. 

They also asked why the central Spanish government has ‘ignored’ various studies showing the adverse effects of Nolotil on Northern Europeans as well as advice from the Generalitat de Catalonia, the only region in Spain to advise against giving Nolotil as a ‘first choice painkiller’. 

Incredibly, they also claimed AEMPS are carrying out various marketing campaigns for the deadly drug despite the ‘many people dying and suffering serious adverse reactions’. 

It was presented to Spain’s central court on January 16, where the proceedings will continue. 

Speaking to the Olive Press, Del Campo said: “We cannot wait, while we wait, more people die. Mark Brooks died recently and there will be more cases. 

“Our lawyers have found evidence of criminality and a full investigation is needed. We will provide all of the cases we have gathered, none of which authorities have looked at yet.” 

As reported in the Olive Press, a 42-year-old British expat, Mark Brooks, died in October last year after taking the lethal painkiller for shoulder pain. 

His death comes a year after Del Campo urged the Spanish ombudsman to take action on the drug. 

According to Del Campo, officials claimed an investigation was underway into the issue, but a year later, no evidence of this has emerged. 

The ADAF also launched a non-criminal law suit against the Spanish Medicine Agency last year, but no progress has been made.

Have you been affected by Nolotil? Email us: tips@theolivepress.es


Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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