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[Correspondence] Should hydroxyethyl starch be banned?

Two recent letters in The Lancet regarding the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) recommendation to suspend the marketing of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) could hardly be more different, yet both raise highly pertinent points. Djillali Annane and colleagues1 emphasise that the PRAC decision was far from unanimous, and that the European Medicines Agency’s own selected panel of experts advised PRAC against this decision. The authors further emphasised the problems that can arise in resuscitation in cases “when crystalloids alone are not sufficient”.

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