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The Directorate-General INSPECTION of the FAMHP organises two information sessions on Friday 8th September and Monday 2nd October 2017 in the Storck room, SPF Emploi, 1 rue Ernest Blerotstraat, 1070 BRUSSELS.

The new edition of the electronic newsletter "VIG-NEWS" of the federal agency for medicines and health products (famhp) is now available. The VIG-NEWS is a selection of recent news concerning pharmacovigilance from different sources.

In its judgments of 4th July 2013 the Council of State cancelled the decisions of 21st December 2011 of famhp leading to the modification of the marketing authorizations (MA) of antitussives and decongestants held by Medgenix, Qualiphar and Novartis.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has reassessed the benefit / risk balance of injectable iron-containing medicines for intravenous administration. This Committee believes that their benefits outweigh their risks provided that adequate measures are taken to minimize the occurrence of allergic reactions.

The EMA has published an information file on combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC). This file refers to the ongoing reassessment of 3rd and 4th generation CHC’s for which the recommendations of the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee of the European Medicines Agency is expected in October 2013. This file also traces the history of the hormonal contraceptives and subsequent revaluations.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA: European Medicines Agency) has initiated a procedure of reassessment of zolpidem-containing medicines, used for the symptomatic treatment of insomnia (sleeping difficulty). This review has been made in response to concerns related to the onset in some patients of drowsiness and slow reactions the day after taking the medicine, and a potential increased risk of accidents during activities requiring alertness (e.g. when diving).

In June 2013 the PRAC adopted recommendations on HES solutions under Article 31 of Directive 2001/83/EC. A number of marketing authorization holders called for a review of these recommendations. Following the suspension of the use of these medicines in the United Kingdom since 27th June, the EMA has launched a new "urgent" reassessment procedure in accordance with Article 107i of Directive 2001/83/EC. Pending the outcome of these procedures, the recommendations of the PRAC still apply (see press release of 18th June 2013).

The famhp sent to the firms concerned the decision of the European Commission of 29th May 2013 to suspend the marketing authorizations (MA) of the tetrazepam-containing medicines throughout the European Union. A recall of all batches of the involved medicines marketed in Belgium (EPSIPAM, MYOLASTAN and TETRAZEPAM EG) must be made by 1st September 2013.

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has reviewed all available data on derivatives of ergot-containing medicines. This Committee believes that their benefit / risk balance is most favorable in the treatment of circulatory disorders, cognitive and neuro-sensory disorders as well as in the prevention of migraine. It recommends that physicians reassess the treatment of patients to whom these drugs are prescribed.

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommends a series of measures to minimize the risks of codeine-containing medicines when they are used for pain control in children.