New Delhi: The Union health ministry has banned the sale of formulations with oxytocin through retail chemists and restricted domestic manufacture to public sector companies amid concerns about the clandestine manufacture and sale of the drug, believed to be misused in the dairy sector.
The new rules come into effect from July 1. The government has also banned the import of oxytocin and its formulations, but public and private sector companies may continue to manufacture oxytocin for export.
The rules will require the manufacturers to supply oxytocin formulations directly to registered hospitals and clinics or to government-run medicine stores. These stores may supply the drug only to registered hospitals and clinics and cannot sell them to retail consumers.
The ministry said that the Centre’s Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), a panel that advises the government on drug policies, had examined concerns that unregulated and illegal use of oxytocin is likely to involve risk to humans and animals and recommended the regulations.Health researchers have in the past pointed out that oxytocin injections to milch cattle to enhance milk production have become a common practice among dairy farmers in India.
The ministry has also accepted a DTAB recommendation to ensure that all oxytocin products should display barcodes to ensure tracking and traceability and curb its misuse.
Sections of doctors have in the past expressed concern that oxytocin is sometimes misused to speed up childbirth. One study conducted in rural Karnataka and published in the journal BMC Proceedings had found that 76 percent of women who delivered at home had been administered oxytocin.
Date : 28-April-2018