In an attempt to monitor sale of medicines containing narcotic substances and food supplements with synthetic steroids, the Drugs Control Department is mooting an action plan.
It will be finalised at a meeting with Health Minister V S Siva Kumar and the department officials on October 12 in Thiruvananthapuram. The department is also planning an awareness campaign for the public regarding the abuse of dietary supplements.
In order to curb the sale of food supplements with synthetic steroids, the department has intensified raids in gymnasiums across the state. It had conducted inspections on various gymnasiums in Malappuram and Ernakulam districts in August. Raids will be conducted in other districts in the coming months.
M R Pradeep, assistant drugs controller, Ernakulam, said that youngsters, including children are using food supplements with synthetic steroid content on a large scale in the state.
“Instead of providing energy, the food supplements which are distributed through the gymnasiums lead to abnormal growth since it contains synthetic steroids. The food supplements are given in the form of biscuits, toffy and paste.
Continuous use of these products will cause impotence and cancer. It will affect proper functioning of liver and kidneys,” he added.
Food supplements are often imported and lack of proper guidelines makes it impossible to control these products. The Drugs Control Department is also seeking the possibilities of implementing licensing system for gymnasiums to curb sales.
In a novel initiative the department is in the process of forming a coordination committee of Food Safety Department, Health Service, Excise and Police Departments under the leadership of District Collectors to monitor the sale of drugs. The first committee will be formed in Ernakulam district. C S Satheesh Kumar, Drugs Controller, Kerala, said that the department is continuously monitoring the gymnasiums across the state.