BHUBANESWAR:Medical fraternity in the State has welcomed the ban on 328 fixed-dose combination drugs, including anti-biotics and analgesics (painkillers) on safety grounds.
Odisha chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) said though the Centre had banned such drugs in 2016, it could not be implemented as pharmaceutical companies moved the Supreme Court. State president of IMA, Dr Santosh Kumar Mishra said the ban was waiting to be imposed on the combination drugs as those medicines lead to side effects than synergetic effect, which was envisaged when such drugs were introduced.
“Most of the combination drugs do not meet the criteria of safety and rationality. There are several drugs that contain antibiotic, steroid and anaesthetics. It a patient requires one component, he or she is forced to take three combinations. Increasing use of antibiotic combinations may also contribute to antibiotic resistance,” Dr Mishra said.
Odisha Medical Services Association (OMSA), a body of Government doctors, demanded that the restrictions on manufacture and sale of banned medicines need to be implemented in letter and spirit.
Association president Dr Nirakar Bhatta said, the ban will prevent people from consuming unsafe medicines and help stop the unauthorised sale of drugs without prescription if strictly enforced. “We are happy that the combination drugs are finally banned. But, the Government should focus on its strict implementation. Even as over-the-counter sale of medicines is banned, the practice is rampant due to lax regulatory system and inaction of enforcement agencies,” he said.
The association urged the State Government to provide quality medicines under Niramaya, the State Government’s flagship scheme to supply medicines and hospital consumables free of cost.
Bhatta said though patients can avail 570 types of drugs, 83 surgical and 107 anti-cancer items under the Niramaya scheme, less than 200 types of drugs are being supplied and most of those are of substandard quality.