Oxytocin should not be banned, says IMA

With the Centre set to challenge the Delhi High Court order setting aside the Centre’s ban on manufacture and sale of Oxytocin, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday issued a statement speaking out against a ban on the drug.

In April 2018, the Union Health Ministry had said that Oxytocin will not be available at retail private chemist stores and that private pharmaceutical companies will have to stop manufacturing the drug from September. The decision was taken after the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), in a meeting on February 12, 2018, had recommended various measures to check widespread misuse of the drug.

The DTAB proposed restrictions on imports and decided to confine manufacturing to Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals (KAPL) Ltd, a government company.

Oxytocin is a drug used to induce labour contractions during childbirth and control bleeding post birth.

One company

Health activist group All India Drug Action Network filed a public interest litigation to revoke the ban. Now, the IMA has noted that Oxytocin is a life-saving drug used during childbirth.

“It is the only drug available to control bleeding after delivery. The Centre has intervened to handover the production of this drug exclusively to one public sector company. The company neither has the experience nor the capacity to handle such a huge responsibility,” noted the IMA release.

It added that the IMA has no objection to KAPL manufacturing Oxytocin exclusively for veterinary use, if indicated.

The association noted that curtailing the manufacture of a life saving drug, which is listed in the national and World Health Organization lists of essential medicines with restrictions, will create artificial bottlenecks and shortages.

“The company itself is on record stating that any bulk production would take 3-4 years. This move could jeopardise the lives of many young mothers by increasing the incidence of bleeding after childbirth and subsequent morbidity and mortality,” said the association.

The IMA suggested that misuse of the drug could be prevented through strict control in sale.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:29:06 PM |

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