In an effort to stem the spread of the coronaviruses, authorities in China on Friday suspended the use of a common, expensive drug that is widely used to treat people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) said the ban on the popular drug called bingdao would be implemented from Friday.
The drug, which costs about 2,300 yuan ($31) a pill, was already being used for some chronic obstructives.
It has been used for several years to treat coughs, coughs and asthma, and can also be used to fight pneumonia and chronic pain, the NHFPC said.
It also said the drug was being prescribed to people who are undergoing treatment with the medicine in China.
“We are in a situation where there are cases of people being prescribed bingdao by other people in China,” a senior NHFCC official told reporters at a briefing on the ban.
The NHFCCC has also banned the use and sale of other common drugs including morphine, which is often prescribed to treat chronic pain.