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South Africa withdraws TB drugs because of quality concerns

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1385 (Published 20 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1385
  1. Pat Sidley
  1. 1Johannesburg

    South African health authorities have withdrawn two generic drugs widely used in the country to treat tuberculosis, amid concerns about their quality.

    When the health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, announced the withdrawal earlier this month she said that her department had received information suggesting that the ingredients in the two combination drugs, called Antib-4 and Ebsar, “were not at the level stated in the label after storage.”

    Antib-4 combines pyrazinamide, ethambutol, isoniazid, and rifampicin. Ebsar is a combination of isoniazid and rifampicin.

    Both drugs are manufactured in India by Rusan Pharma and imported into South Africa, where they are …

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