To bring relief to thousands of cancer patients in the country, Parliament on Friday passed the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2014, with the Rajya Sabha giving its approval on the last day of the extended winter session.
The Bill, which simplifies the regulations for procuring and possessing narcotic drugs such as morphine for medicinal purposes, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday. Morphine is a derivative of opium.
Use of morphine was under strict regulation under the NDPS Act, 1985, and lengthy bureaucratic procedures discouraged its manufacturing in the country and limited its availability at medical institutions that care for cancer patients.
The amendments will prescribe the forms and conditions of licence or permits for the manufacture, possession, transport, inter-state import and export, sale, purchase, consumption or use of essential narcotic drugs and charge a fee for that. Moving the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said though India produced 90 per cent of the morphine in the world, these were not easily available in leading hospitals.