19 Sep 2008

Drugs banned in US are fine says Medsafe

10:08 am on 19 September 2008

Medsafe is assuring New Zealanders it's safe to use prescription drugs made in India which have been banned in the United States.

The United States Food and Drug Administration issued the ban on more than 30 generic drugs produced by Ranbaxy drug factories in India, saying administration procedures were a concern.

The Ministry of Health says failings in record keeping and auditing have been highlighted, but there is no suggestion the drugs themselves have anything wrong with them.

The Ministry's Chief Advisor of Public Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, says the Ministry will look regulators in other countries for inspection reports on Ranbaxy sites.

Dr Bloomfield says three of the brands are funded by Pharmac and regulary prescribed in New Zealand.

They are the syrup form of the antibiotic Amoxicillin, which is widely prescribed to children, Aciclovir, an anti-viral drug used to treat herpes, and the antibiotic Cefaclor.

Dr Bloomfield says the next import of the drugs is due in early October, so a decision must be made by then.