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The Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) advises patients and citizens not to use unregulated cell therapies, which may be unsafe or ineffective.

The FAMHP restates the risks linked to the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 following the publication of a retrospective analysis of a patient monitoring register in the medical journal The Lancet on 22 May 2020. The analysis did not highlight any benefits from these drugs in patients with COVID-19 and revealed adverse cardiovascular effects.

The FAMHP has issued guidelines for checking the compliance and suitability of surgical face masks during the COVID-19 crisis. The guidelines are intended for companies, institutions and authorities that order, sell or use these masks.

The FAMHP reminds hospitals of the recommendations for replacing closed suction systems and offers temporary practical advice to help healthcare professionals waiting on a new stock of suction systems.

Sales of paracetamol remain stable, which is why the restriction of only one box per patient is being lifted. The quotas for pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers have already been abolished. Only the intravenous form remains subject to restriction.

In anticipation of the European regulations on medical devices (Regulation (EU) 2017/745) and in vitro diagnostic medical devices (Regulation (EU) 2017/746), the FAMHP has updated the “My company” and “My activities” applications in its web portal.

In order to avoid misinterpretation of negative results, the FAMHP has banned the use of rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic tests for six months. 

More than 1 800 illegal skin whitening agents were confiscated in seven shops in a coordinated action in Brussels. The vast majority are skin whitening agents containing corticosteroids which are very popular among the African community. The substances can cause severe side effects such as infections, scarring or adrenal gland insufficiency.

As announced, the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) is holding an online survey to collect information about the use of benzodiazepines and related substances for sleep disorders in the Belgian population. The survey starts today and will run for one month.

During its meeting of 10 – 13 February 2020, the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommends restrictions in use of cyproterone due to meningioma risk.