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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Government takes action against east Delhi store selling oxytocin illegally

A shop in east Delhi’s Ghazipur area was found to be selling 100 and 200ml plastic bottles of oxytocin during a raid by a joint team of national and Delhi’s drug regulators on Saturday

delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2018 03:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The raid was based on information gathered by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
The raid was based on information gathered by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).(Representative Photo)
         

A shop in east Delhi’s Ghazipur area was found to be selling 100 and 200ml plastic bottles of oxytocin during a raid by a joint team of national and Delhi’s drug regulators on Saturday. The raid was based on information gathered by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

Oxytocin is a life-saving essential drug given to pregnant women to induce labour and prevent post-partum bleeding. The drug is usually available in 1ml ampoules for medical use.

However, the hormone is known to be clandestinely manufactured in larger pack sizes for use in cattle to produce more milk.

“Buying the smaller packs for cattle is not feasible. Animals require three or four ampoules of the drug used in humans; each unit costs around Rs 16. It is of no use if people end up spending Rs 60 for oxytoxin on milk worth Rs 100. Hence, these bigger units are manufactured,” Dr S Eswara Reddy, the drug controller general of India had told HT.

The shop raided did not have any license for selling the drug. The drug control officers seized the oxytocin bottles and have sent them for laboratory testing. Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against the owner of the shop and further prosecutions would be launched under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

In 2015 too, the national regulator had found two persons selling such plastic bottles of oxytocin in Ghazipur, which is Delhi’s biggest meat market and has several dairy farms. A case against the two is under trial.

To curb the clandestine manufacture and sale for misuse in cattle, the Central government had come up with a controversial ban on the manufacturing of the drug by private players and retail sale earlier this year.

As per the CDSCO order, only the state owned Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd had permission to manufacture the drug. The ban on sale in retail stores was later relaxed by the Central government.

“It was thought that the ban on the retail sale of the drug might disrupt the supply chain and result in non-availability of the essential drug in certain parts of the country. So, the ban on sale was relaxed but the government decided to go ahead with restricting the manufacturing to Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd only,” Reddy had said.

The regulation on oxytocin was to come into force from September 1. However, the Delhi high court stayed the decision for a month and is currently hearing arguments in the matter.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 03:40 IST

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