The sale of three generic prescription drugs were banned with immediate effect due to associated health risks.
On Thursday, the State Drugs Controller notified the ban to around 29,000 medical shops and outlets in the state.
The drugs are the anti-diabetes drug Pioglitazone, painkiller Analgin, which is an analgesic and antipyretic, and Deanxit, an anti-depressant.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on June 18, banned the sale of these drugs under Section 26A of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, through a notification.
According to experts, Pioglitazone can cause heart failure and increase the risk of bladder cancer while Analgin was banned due to concerns over patient safety.
Under the Drugs and Cosmetic Rule 30-B, the import and marketing of any drug, which is prohibited in the country of origin, is banned in India.
The anti-depressant Deanxit was also banned in Denmark, where it was originally manufactured.
Karnataka Drugs Controller Dr B R Jagashetty said text messages will be sent to all pharmacists registered with the authority asking them to stop selling these three drugs.
“The authority will send this SMS using a software developed by the National Informatics Centre,” he said.
He added that these SMS will be circulated immediately. He expected this message will reach to 70 to 80 per cent of the outlets in the state and prevent the use of these drugs.
Meanwhile, notifications were sent to manufacturers to get rid of the existing stock of these medicines.
“The suspension is with immediate effect and pharmacists will have to turn in their existing stocks. Drug inspectors will ensure that it is complied with,” he said.
Welcoming the ban, Associate Professor of Public Health Foundation of India, Dr Giridhara R Babu, said customers who are used to Analgin need not worry as they can opt for alternatives like paracetamols and diclofenac sodium.
“There is no post marketing surveillance for drugs in India due to which drugs like Nise, that are banned in the USA, are consumed widely in India and given even to kids,” he said.