TB drugs

2008-08-14 00:00

The national Health Department has recalled two widely dispensed drugs for tuberculosis (TB) patients on the grounds that the levels of key ingredients are lower than those shown on the labels. The pharmaceutical supplier, on the other hand, has insisted that these drugs are safe and effective.

Clearly the government cannot be over-cautious in a matter of this kind, yet this is a disturbing conflict of opinion and it is important for it to be sorted out with a view to achieving consensus in an objective and professional manner. Many South African citizens are prone to TB and treatment of it needs to be both effective and prolonged. The present clash of views between the Health Department and the pharmaceutical company concerned is not helpful when the stakes are so high.

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