Bonn suspends licence for Astra's star drug

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The Independent Online
ASTRA, the Swedish drug group, said yesterday that the German regulatory authorities had temporarily suspended the licence for the intravenous injection of its anti-ulcer drug, Losec.

Losec is Astra's star new drug, and is seen as potentially more effective for ulcer treatments than Zantac and Tagamet since it can be used with antibiotics to treat the bacterial infections believed to be the cause of a large number of ulcers.

The ban is the latest twist in a simmering row between Astra and the German authorities. The latter say there have been several cases of severe side-effects as a result of patients using the injected form of the drug.

Astra denies the allegations and the EC Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products said recently sales could go ahead if a warning note was attached to the injectable form.