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Govt order curbs sale of cough drugs for kids in Oman.

Muscat: The Ministry of Health, represented by the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Drug Control, issued a circular to all pharmacies in the Sultanate to stop selling cough and cold medicines that contain antihistamines and decongestants and the anti-cough and sputum repellents for children less than two years of age.

The order includes both sale of the drug, either by prescription or without it. For children in the 2-6 age group, it is possible to get the medicine only on the basis of prescriptions.

The Ministry of Health has also directed the General Directorate of Private Health Institutions to circulate the directive to all doctors working in hospitals and private clinics.

The decision comes after the recommendations on the drug were approved by the Supreme Committee following its meeting in May 2011.

The committee had called for the need to review the use of cough and cold medicines for children less than six years. It recommended reviewing the risks and benefits of scientific studies for the drug.

The findings said that there were limited benefits of using these drugs for the treatment of cough and cold symptoms in children, while it increased the rate of side-effects, that could pose a threat to the safety of children.

This action follows similar action taken by world health authorities such as the US Food and Drug Administration, Canadian and British health authorities, and many other health authorities around the world, including the Saudi Food and Drug Saudi General Authority and health authorities of the UAE and other GCC countries.

The General Directorate of Pharmacy and Drug Control has directed the drug manufacturers not to supply these drugs for the treatment of cold and cough for children less than two years.

They have to publish the instructions on the outer and inner labels of their packages which are registered and marketed in the Sultanate.

The General Directorate of Pharmacy and Drug Control has called upon all workers in the health sector to adhere to the new legislation.

It has also urged parents not to give their children, who are less than two years of age, cough and cold medicines.

For the children who are over two years, parents should consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking or using these drugs.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2011

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Dec 26, 2011
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