Doctors are not surprised to know that many banned drugs are still available in the market. “Maybe the rules are not strict enough. There should be some punishment for doctors prescribing banned drugs and chemists selling them,” said Dr Khusrav Bajan, cosultant physician and head of emergency department, Hinduja Hospital. “Authorities should send notices to all licensing doctors to refrain the use of such drugs. Ninety percent of doctors may not know that these drugs are banned.”
There were six more medicines banned on February 10, including Sibutramine – an anti obesity drug and Cisapride – drug advised for heartburn. These drugs were reported to have side effects such as increased risk of heart attack and abnormal heart beat. “The Madras high court has issued a stay against the ban for these six drugs until the next hearing scheduled this month,” said Jagannath Shinde, president of Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggist Association.
Shinde added that emergency circulars were sent to most pharmacies soon after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the Association about the ban on two more Drugs in March. The circular mentioned details of the drugs and its manufacturers and asked them to stop its sale immediately.
However, Damji Palan, president, Retail Dispensing Chemist Association pointed out that sometimes doctors aren’t aware of notifications and prescribe banned drugs. “Manufacturers too sell banned drugs,” he said adding that he had personally alerted 400 chemists in the city via text messages about the March ban.