HIV/Aids

07 August 2007

HIV drug suspended, withdrawn

The European Commission has suspended a license granted to Swiss drug-maker Roche to market the HIV drug Viracept in the European Union.

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The European Commission said on Tuesday it had suspended a license granted to Swiss drug-maker Roche to market the HIV drug Viracept in the European Union due to the toxic contamination of some tablets. The suspension followed the drug's withdrawal from the market in June.

The Swiss pharmaceutical group announced the major recall of the anti-HIV drug in June after discovering "the contamination of certain batches with ethyl mesilate, a genotoxic substance, which could cause tumors,” the Commission said in a statement.

The EU's decision is based on scientific conclusions of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA and follows consultation with member states.

"The suspension could only be lifted by a further decision by the Commission, after the evaluation of new data given by the Agency," the EU executive arm said. – Sapa

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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