Health Experts, Doctors: Centre’s Move Good for Patient Safety

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Even as more companies on Wednesday challenged the ban on combination drugs in the Delhi high court, public health experts and doctors have welcomed the government notification, saying withdrawal of “irrational” and “harmful” medicines from the market is good for patient safety and health.

The judiciary should be cautious in granting injunctions, and scrutinise the issue with the help of clinical data before taking a decision, experts say , adding it should not be solely looked at in terms of revenue loss to companies, but also take into account public health criteria.

Taking the drug industry completely by surprise, the health ministry in a notification issued late on March 12, has prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of nearly 336 FDCs with immediate effect. Says Leena Menghaney ,a lawyer working on public health issues, “FDCs are particularly useful in the management of HIVAIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which are considered to be the foremost infectious disease threats today. They are part of WHO and national treatment guidelines, playing a role in reducing pill burden, simplifying treatment and adherence in resource-poor settings, and reducing the cost of procurement. But this is not what the Indian FDA is seeking to remove from the market through its gazette notification.”

There are specific instances where use of these combination drugs pose a risk to patients, and are leading to antibiotic drug resistance in the country.

Source: Times of India (link opens in a new window)

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