Chinese drug regulators have banned a popular drug that has been linked to an increase in diabetes among children.
The ruling from the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Monday was the latest in a series of regulatory actions by the Chinese government that have drawn widespread international condemnation for the country’s slow response to the global pandemic.
The commission also suspended a drug called LipoVit, which is made by the company Cetaphil, the United States-based maker of another drug called Tisapressin.
The ban on LipoAvit was announced on Tuesday by Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.
Xinhua reported that the move was part of the “anti-aging” measures, but did not elaborate on what measures the commission had taken.
“I think the new decision is a step in the right direction to promote China’s efforts to eradicate obesity and diabetes,” said Dr. Thomas Rau, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health who studies the pandemic and its impact on the developing world.
But China has been grappling with a long-standing problem in treating children with diabetes, a form of obesity that afflicts nearly a million people in the world.
Chinese government statistics show the number of children with type 2 diabetes has increased from 10 million in 2008 to 25 million last year.
“This is a big problem,” said Daniel Lippman, director of research and policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and Human Services.
“We know that we have some of the highest rates of diabetes in the developed world.”
The drugs used to combat the disease are approved for use in children ages 4 to 12, but there are concerns that the use of older adults is increasing the risk of the disease.
LipoAviTisaprismis one of two diabetes drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2009, along with Tisapsin.
A 2010 study found that the two drugs combined caused the risk for type 2 disease in about one-third of children who were given the two medications, although the drugs did not lead to the development of the condition.
The other drug, LipoPim, has been in clinical trials for several years and has shown promising results in treating Type 2 diabetes.
But a study in the journal BMJ in 2014 showed that Tisipressin, LipaVit and LipaPim were all linked to increases in diabetes in Type 2 children, but only Tisimipress had a significant effect on diabetes in older adults.
Lippman said that the combination of the drugs could pose problems for children who are too young to be vaccinated against the disease or are not yet fully vaccinated.
“They are not all equally safe, and some have potential side effects that can be serious,” he said.
“The combination of these drugs is not safe, but it’s still something that needs to be looked at carefully.”
China’s government has faced criticism in recent months for its slow response.
The country has announced more than 5 million new hospital beds since January and more than 500,000 new primary care doctors.
But its record in the fight against diabetes has been impressive.
A study released last year by the World Health Organization found that China had achieved a 65 percent reduction in Type 1 diabetes cases in 2015 compared to 2012.
The WHO also reported that China’s diabetes-related deaths dropped from a high of 9,500 in 2009 to 2,000 in 2014, while the rate of diabetes-specific mortality dropped from 20 percent in 2009-2014 to 6 percent in 2015.
China has long sought to address the growing diabetes epidemic, but has not been able to do so in a single-minded pursuit of control.
Some experts have questioned China’s response to its diabetes crisis, saying that the country has been slow to institute reforms that could have helped tackle the pandemics.
The World Health Assembly in September urged the Chinese health ministry to adopt “a new strategy for controlling diabetes, including the promotion of preventive measures.”
In October, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a $10.2 billion package of economic assistance to fight the pandems pandemic, a major part of which was earmarked for new initiatives aimed at reversing the increase in Type-2 diabetes and diabetes-associated complications among children and adults.
China also announced that it would launch a national strategy to combat Type 2, which experts say could have a major impact on overall diabetes prevention efforts.