CHENNAI: Six months after the Madras High Court refused to stay the ban on 344 fixed-dose combination drugs, the Tamil Nadu State Drugs Control Department last week issued a circular to all drug inspectors to freeze the drugs falling in the category.
The delay by the State authority in implementing the ban has virtually allowed the sales of these banned drugs for all these months.
The Union government in March banned these 344 fixed dose combinations, citing the reason that these fixed drug combinations lacked therapeutic justification, and also could lead to antibiotic resistance in the population. Vicks Action 500, Saridon, Dart, Corex cough syrup,
Codylex syrup and Tryglynase tablets for diabetic were some of the banned FDC drugs that are most commonly took as self-medication.
The pharma companies had approached various High Courts seeking relief from the ban. But the Madras High Court refused to stay the ban in March. However, the State Drug Control Department only last week passed a circular asking its officials to freeze the sales of drugs with these fixed combinations.
Speaking to Express, S Abdul Khader, director, State Drug Control Department, said, “we have also issued from 16 to the pharmacies to freeze the banned drugs and also told them banned drugs should not be sold,”he added.
Pharmacists said the medical shops here continued to sell since a few High Courts have issued an interim stay and most of the distributors exploited this to their advantage in Tamil Nadu also. The pharmacists say the distributors were hoodwinking them by citing those court orders. “This was not properly monitored so far. And also there most shops had already stocked these banned medicines. Because of this confusion, the pharmacists must be allowed to exhaust the present stock for the banned drugs are still available in the shops,” said Natarajan, secretary, Chemists and Druggists Association (Chennai district).