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Crackdown on illegal sale of oxytocin in Delhi, some samples seized

Oxytocin hormone is misused in dairy industry where animals are injected with the drug to make them produce more milk. There have also been some cases of its use on trafficked young girls so they attain early puberty.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2018 20:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
oxytocin,Sale of oxytocin,oxytocin drugs
A chemist shop in Bangalore. (Mint File/Representative image)

Central and Delhi state drug regulators on Saturday carried out joint surprise checks to search for any unauthorised sale and distribution of oxytocin, the cuddle hormone used medically to induce labour in pregnant women and control post-delivery bleeding but also misused in dairy industry, and seized some injections, suspected to be of the hormone, from a city departmental store.

Apart from the dairy industry where animals are injected with the drug to make them produce more milk, there have been some cases of its use on trafficked young girls so they attain early puberty.

To curb its misuse, the Centre banned the production and distribution of oxytocin by private companies from September 1 but this has been extended to October 1 on the orders of Delhi high court. As the drug is in the schedule H1 category, its over-the-counter sale, without prescription, is illegal.

“Based on intelligence gathered by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), a joint surprise check was carried out in various chemist shops, departmental stores and dairies in Gazipur, East Delhi, by a team of officers of CDSCO and drug control department, Delhi, for search and seizure of unauthorized sale, distribution of oxytocin,” according to a Union health ministry statement.

“During the search, the team has seized plastic bottles (200 ml & 100 ml ) suspected to be oxytocin injection, from a departmental store situated at Gazipur Dairy Farm, Delhi... The shop does not hold any license for sale & distribution of drugs as required under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules,1945. The samples of seized bottles have also been collected for test/analysis as per the procedures under the said Act and Rules,” it said, adding that a case has been lodged against the shop owner at the local police station.

The CDSCO had also raided various places in the same area in 2015, and seized a large quantity of oxytocin bottles from some stores and unlicensed premises.

Two persons were arrested and a case was filed against them. It is currently being heard in a Delhi court.

The CDSCO has requested all the state/union territory drug controllers as well as its zonal, sub-zonal and port offices to sensitize their inspectorate staff to keep strict vigil on manufacture, sale and distribution of oxytocin in the country and take all measures to ensure that the drug is not manufactured or sold illegally and its misuse is prevented.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 20:55 IST