Saturday, August 27, 2016

Vietnam - Salbutamol imports resume after 9-month ban

Vietnam’s health officials have allowed a resumption of salbutamol import into the country after the drug, which is often used to treat asthma and breathing problems, was banned from import for nine months.

The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health officially approved salbutamol imports after reviewing the trade and use of the substance, which had reportedly been abused by many livestock farmers to make pigs grow fast and lean.

In its document sent to the General Department of Customs, the administration also allowed a resumption of clenbutarol import, its deputy head Do Van Dong said on August 24. The drug is also used to increase muscle mass for livestock.

Salbutamol is vital in treating respiratory diseases but in early March, the Environment Police Department, also known as C49, revealed the abuse of the substance in pig farming.

According to the police, over 20 firms imported 9,140 kilograms of salbutamol into Vietnam last year. Of the volume, six tons were sold on the market but only ten kilograms were bought and used in accordance with regulations. A big amount of the substance ended up being used by livestock farmers.

The drug administration issued a document on November 20 last year halting import of both salbutamol and clenbutarol.

During the nine-month ban, the administration tightened its management on the trade and use of salbutamol. So far local enterprises have generally adhered to regulations. To meet the domestic demand for salbutamol in medical treatment, the administration has decided to reopen the door for the drug.

However, the removal of the ban applies to drug producers that have registered to use the substance for making medicine and still hold valid certificates to import salbutamol. Other businesses whose contracts to import the drug were approved before November 20 last year are not allowed to do so.

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