Roche Recalls Anti-HIV Drug

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Anti-HIV Drug Recall

Hong Kong Department of Health is following up a recall of an anti-HIV drug, Viracept, by Roche pharmaceuticals in Hong Kong and patients prescribed with the drug should stop taking it immediately.

The recall was made following European Medicines Agency's announcement of contamination of the drug by a harmful chemical.

A DH spokesman said that the recall involved Viracept (drug name - nelfinavir) Tablets 250mg and Oral Powder 50mg/g which were registered in Hong Kong in May 2000. Both are prescription drugs.

He said that according to Roche, the company has informed all doctors in Hong Kong, who had prescribed the drug to their patients for HIV treatment, to stop using the drug immediately and to replace it with other appropriate medicines.

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The drug is used for about 40 patients in Queen Mary Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals of the Hospital Authority, about 80 patients in DH's Kowloon Bay Integrated Treatment Centre and by some patients of two private doctors.

The doctors will contact their patients who are using the drug for follow up actions.

"Patients using the drug are advised to stop taking it and consult their doctors immediately," the spokesman said.

"DH has not received any adverse drug reaction so far and will continue to monitor the situation," he added.

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