Govt bans popular and cheap diabetic drug amid protest

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New Delhi, June 27: The government has banned popular and cheap diabetes drug Pioglitazone. After four decades of US ban, the Indian health ministry has woken up and also banned sale of painkiller Analgin. A ban will also be imposed on anti-depressant drug Deanxit.

Meanwhile, the domestic drug industry is protesting ban on Pioglitazone combinations saying that this ban would force lakhs of patients to move to more expensive alternatives and insulin.

Some doctors also refute the basis of ban. They say that the diabetic drug (Pioglitazone) is effective, and can cause adverse effects in sustained use of 40 mg in older patients. The option should be about the use of a lower dosage because alternatives such as DPP-4-inhibitors or gliptins are more expensive.

Pioglitazone was pulled out of France in 2011 for an increased risk of bladder cancer but many countries, including the US, the UK, Japan and Canada continue to allow its use.

It is claimed that the use of pioglitazone can lead to fluid retention that precipitates or worsens congestive heart failure among patients.

Pioglitazone is marketed as a single drug as well as in combinations with other drugs such as Metformin, Glimepiride, Alogliptin. Pioglitazone and its combinations are an estimated Rs 600-crore segment in India, and manufactured by large companies like Ranbaxy, Sun Pharma, Lupin and USV.

Analgin was banned in the US in 1977. Analgin was withdrawn from Sweden in 1997 for the risk of causing a sharp fall in white blood cells, a potentially fatal condition. The drug is also banned in France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many other countries.

On Analgin the government notification said "whereas the Central Government is satisfied that the use of the drug analgin and all formulations containing analgin is likely to involve risk to human beings and whereas safer alternatives to the said drug are available. And whereas the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient to regulate by way of suspension of manufacture for sale, sale and distribution of the drug in the country in public interest.''

In last three years, the government has banned several drugs like diabetes medicine Rosiglitazone, anti-obesity drug Sibutramine, pain-killer Nimesulide for pediatric use, antibiotic Gaifloxacin, as well as Cisapride and Tegaserod.

OneIndia News

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