Re: tablets and kashrut

Hassman, Natalie (HassmanN@email.marshall.adsn.int)
Fri, 27 Dec 96 11:04:00 PST

In Torah Forum vol. 3 #3 the kashruth status of tablets was raised. It is
quite apparent that most are derived from some form of non-kosher
substances. And, of course, the majority of common drugs would not be
kosher for Passover. About a month ago I had to grapple with with that
problem. I was diagnosed with pancreatitis and prescribed CREON, a drug
derived from pig pancreas. Initially I refused either to take it or keep it
in the house which upset and angered my attending physician. My husband
contacted the Sinai hospital in NY as well as Shaarei Zedek in Jerusalem
for advice on any substitutes for the drug but apparently none exist. The
Sinai Hospital got in touch with the Rabbi at the Yeshivah University who
convinced me to take the drug. His opinion was that pancreatitis is a
potentially life- threatening illness and that "pikuakh nefesh" in this
case would override kashrut considerations. The Rabbi has also mentioned
in his fax that the drug in question contains chemicals derived from
animals through a complex chemical derivation process. I believe to be on
the safe side, you need to consult your Rabbi in every individual case who
has to assess kashrut considerations against potential health risks. But
what about kosher vitamins -- can anyone recommend a kosher line of
vitamins with reliable certification?