Diane 35, a popular anti-acne drug which is also widely used as a contraceptive, is still on the shelves of pharmacies in Qatar despite a ban on its sale in the UAE, reports the Peninsula.
The drug – which is known as Dianette in the UK – was recently temporarily banned by the French Medicines Agency after reviewing research which links the drug to a high risk of fatal blood clots.
The UAE’s Health Ministry temporarily suspended the sale of the drug on Tuesday in response to the news from France.
However, Qatar’s Pharmacy and Drug Control Department is waiting for more information before it makes such a move, a department source has told Al Sharq:
“We have written to the manufacturing company to inform us about the issue and we are waiting for explanation from more than one manufacturer and the higher authorities in the European Union,” said the source.
France’s decision to suspend the drug has triggered an investigation by the European Medicines Agency, which will decide whether to suspend the use of the drug in all European countries.
All contraceptive pills in Qatar are obtainable from pharmacies without a prescription.
Diane 35 is authorised for use in 135 countries around the world, usually as an acne treatment for women.It is rarely prescribed for its contraceptive benefits alone, but in the UK, it’s licensed for the treatment of acne in women who also wish to receive oral contraception. The drug has never been approved for use in the USA.
The European Medicines Agency advises all women currently taking the drug to continue taking it, but to see a doctor if they are concerned.