The Ministry of Health's Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAVN) has issued a nationwide request for provinces and cities to tighten their management of drug importers and distribution companies.

In a document released on August 19, DAVN asked localities and businesses to inspect drugs imported by companies listed as trading uncertified medicines. The report asked that the goods be checked before they could be placed on the market and called for a strict approach to handling violations.

The statement also suggested provinces and cities target oversight of quality management procedures, particularly in expediting announcements on the withdrawal of uncertified medicine.

Drug import and trading companies have been asked to assess drug suppliers and manufacturers to ensure the quality of drugs on the market. Companies were also asked to comply with regulations on the withdrawal of unqualified medicine.

The decision was put forward after drug inspection results showed multiple quality and management violations, particularly in relation to unqualified drugs and their withdrawal from the market.

DAVN on August 15 revoked the licences of a number of foreign drugs, mainly from Indian manufacturers, including Umedica Laboratories, Marksans Pharma, Yeva Therapeutics, Cure Medicines and Medley Pharmaceuticals due to quality issues.

The DAVN also denied rumours relating to Colgate toothpaste products containing triclosan, a substance that could cause cancer, as reported by the United States' Food and Drug Administration.

The DAVN said that the matter was the subject of debate and that no final conclusion had been reached.

To date, Vietnam's health sector is yet to receive any documents warning about the use of Triclosan in products. Some of Colgate-Pamolive Vietnam's toothpaste products were reported to contain a 0.3 percent concentration of Triclosan, well within the legal limit, it said.

The health sector also requested the collection of cosmetic samples to inspect banned substances, including Triclosan.-VNA