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Beijing Pharmacies Restrict Cold Medicine Purchase

Drugstores in Beijing on Monday began to restrict the purchase of cold medicines containing ephedrine to prevent illegal abstracting of the element to make drugs.

The regulation was applied to about 30 kinds of commonly-used cold and cough medicines. Customers were allowed to buy no more than five of the smallest packages of the medicines at a time.

The move was adopted in line with a circular issued by the State Food and Drug Administration last Friday, which said that police had found ephedrine was abstracted from cold medicines by criminals to make the drug 'Ice' in some parts of the country.

Cong Luoluo, a spokesman with the Beijing Drug Administration, said the regulation wouldn't cause inconvenience to people's normal drugs use, as the smallest package of a medicine referred to a box or a bottle, which usually could satisfy a week's dosage.

Cong said there was no need for people to worry about taking such medicines as they contained a tiny amount of ephedrine. So long as patients take it following a doctors' prescription, they will not become drug addicts, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2008)

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