The Ministry of Public Health announced that it is in continuous contact with international regulatory bodies to follow up on developments regarding the safety of medicines containing metformin known as 'Glucophage' which is used in the treatment of diabetes.
This is in order to verify that the medicines do not contain NDMA, an impure substance, which may be carcinogenic when present in high levels.
The ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it had withdrawn samples from all pharmaceuticals containing metformin in the public and private sectors to carry out analysis in the Ministry's drug control laboratories.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have reported that medicines sold in the US and European countries do not contain NDMA. This substance is present in nature such as food and drinking water, but in small portions which makes it safe.
In this context, the Ministry of Public Health indicated in its statement that the majority of the preparations containing metformin in Qatar comes from European countries or the US.
The ministry recommended that patients who use these medicines continue to use them as the risk of stopping the use of diabetes treatment greatly exceeds the potential effects of low levels of NDMA, and patients should continue to monitor their health with healthcare providers.