Oxytocin Ban: AIDAN reaches Court, Govt Asked for explanation
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sought the Centre's stand on a PIL against the ban on private companies from producing and distributing oxytocin, a drug also used to induce labour contractions during child birth.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao issued a notice to the Health Ministry and sought its response to the plea by August 26, the next date of hearing.
NGO All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), which works towards ensuring access to essential medicines, in its plea, sought setting aside of the government's ban which would come into effect from September 1.
The government had in April this year restricted private companies from making or supplying the drug to prevent its alleged misuse in the dairy sector to increase milk secretion and production.
Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone that causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactate. It is used to prevent and treat post-partum haemorrhage or excessive bleeding after childbirth, one of the top causes of maternal deaths.
The government had allowed the state-run Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd to make the drug to meet the country's needs.
Later in June the, the ban was deferred by two months by the ministry.
Some of the private companies which made and sold the drug in India are Pfizer and Mylan. Mylan has also challenged the Centre's decision in the high court.
The NGO, in its plea, has contended that it would not be advisable to depend on one company alone, especially when it allegedly has not made the product earlier.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) had approved a proposal to amend the health ministry notification banning the retail sale of oxytocin in order to ensure availability for human use.
Read also: Remove Oxytocin Ban: Health Ministry Panel