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France

France moves to suspend Vitamin D supplement after baby dies

France has introduced measured to suspend sales of a vitamin D medication for children. The move follows the death of a 10-day-old baby who had been given the supplement.

The decision to stop sales of the product known as Uvesterol D was taken as a precaution, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said in a statement. The decision came in response to a newborn baby dying on December 21 after being administered the drug, which is prescribed for vitamin D deficiency among young children.

France's drugs authority, the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du medicament et des produits de santé (ANSM), had previously issued warnings about the administration of the supplement by pipette, but had not yet reported any deaths linked to the drug. The baby in question was 10 days old and had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, according to the ANSM.

"The conclusions of investigations so far show evidence pointing to a probable link between the death and the dose of Uvesterol D that was administered," ANSM said in a statement, adding that the ban on the drug would likely take full effect within "the next days."

ANSM had reportedly documented a number of cases of illness in small children before, particularly among premature babies and newborns under one month. The agency, meanwhile, stressed that the decision on the Uvesterol D supplement had no implications for other vitamin D supplements.

Uvesterol D is developed by the French pharmaceutical company Laboratoire Crinex.

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ss/kms (AFP, Reuters, ANSM)

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