|Salbutamol, a medication used to treat respiratory diseases, is illegally used in animal breeding in Viet Nam. Relevant agencies are making efforts to curb the use of such banned substances. — Photo vietnamplus.vn
HA NOI — The health ministry's Drug Administration of Viet Nam has suspended the operation of a pharmacy company and has revoked its business licence following its illegal import and trade in salbutamol.
The Phuong Dong Pharmaceutical Chemical Ltd Company, based in Ha Noi's Dong Da District, was found to have imported extra 200kg of salbutamol, exceeding the permitted amount.
Salbutamol, a medication that opens the medium and large airways in the lungs, is used to treat asthma, exercise-induced bronchospasm, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and high blood potassium levels. However, the use of the substance in breeding has been banned in Viet Nam for a decade as it stimulates growth in animals and makes them lean.
The company was also found to be selling the chemical to those who are not licensed to sell medicines.
The Drug Administration handed over to the police relevant documents about the company's violations for further investigation.
The administration plans to boost after-sale inspections at all medicine importers and traders to detect and crack down on violations in the future.
According to the agriculture and rural development ministry, the use of banned substances in breeding was becoming complicated, causing a lot worry among the public.
The use of banned substances such as salbutamol has been detected in southeastern provinces and cities such as HCM City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong and in northern localities such as Ha Noi, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hai Duong, besides Hung Yen.
The ministry's inspectors found that 16 per cent of tested meat samples contained salbutamol, while 80 per cent of the inspected animal feed producers were found to be using banned substances. — VNS