|A Salbutamol-containing medicine. Photo Vietnamplus.vn|Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The country is facing a shortage of Salbutamol, a medication approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and prevent premature births. Experts say the shortage results from the widespread misuse of the drug to increase lean mass in animal husbandry.
The prolonged shortage of injection drugs that contained Salbutamol has led treatment centres to import the medicine from foreign countries at a cost many times higher than the typical domestic price.
Given the absence of Salbutamol medicines, the Drug Administration urged local health centres to collect and report documents of Salbutamol import orders from production companies to quickly solve the paucity of the medicines. The representative of the administration said that related legal documents were strictly regulated, while ministries of Health, Public Safety and Agriculture and Rural Development cooperated routinely to check and supervise any relevant operations.
To further prevent Salbutamol misuse, the Ministry of Health listed Salbutamol medicines in the close monitoring category, meaning production companies need to meet all requirements before importing ingredients to create Salbutamol.
Vacopharm, a pharmaceutical company in Long An, won the bid to supply several health centres with Salbutamol medicines, yet due to the listing of Salbutamol, the enterprise was currently waiting for approval from the Drug Administration to import ingredients, said Lê Văn Hoàng, CEO of Vacopharm. — VNS