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BAN: Private Sectors wont be allowed to sell Detox Drug Buprenorphine in Punjab


BAN: Private Sectors wont be allowed to sell Detox Drug Buprenorphine in Punjab

Apart from this, the Government intends to allow psychiatric clinics to dispense buprenorphine and naloxone. It is also in the process of framing Punjab Registration and Regulation of Psychiatric Clinic Rules 2019.

Chandigarh: In a move to regulate the misuse of popular detoxification drug buprenorphine, the Punjab Government is considering to revoke the right of dispensing the medicine by private rehabilitation centres and reserve the rights for providing the drug by the Government centres.

The development comes following a proposal by the Punjab Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to restrict private centres to prescribe the medicine and allow only the government centres to dispense buprenorphine. The proposal was deliberated in a meeting held on September 6 by principal Health Secretary Anurag Agarwal along with commissioner food and drugs K S Pannu, joint director drugs Pradeep Mattu, owners of private de-addiction centres and psychiatrists.

During the meeting, Agarwal expressed his dissatisfaction over private centres fleecing patients and even presented examples of private centres supplying buprenorphine in disproportionally high number. The concern was discussed in detail and all stakeholders were appraised about it.

As per a recent media report in  TOI, it has been concluded that all private psychiatrists will be allowed to prescribe the medicine which will be dispensed by Government centres while no privately run rehabilitation centres will be allowed to do the same. The ban, however, will come to force only when the government works out modalities for providing the medicine at controlled rates at these centres.

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After the modalities are worked out, only Government supplied quality and rate-controlled buprenorphine will be available at private centres at controlled rates. Moreover, the number of dispensing points will be raised up to 300 which is presently 181. This will ensure that patients face no difficulty.

Apart from this, the Government intends to allow psychiatric clinics to dispense buprenorphine and naloxone. It is also in the process of framing Punjab Registration and Regulation of Psychiatric Clinic Rules 2019.

Presently, Psychiatric clinics provide OPD-based psychiatric health facilities and are not allowed to dispense detoxification medicines. Taking undue advantage of the prevailing situation, many private centres allegedly profit by selling buprenorphine for around Rs 400 per strip. However, the same drug costs the government about Rs 50.

Also Read: Its All In The Name: State drug regulators told to BAN marketing of new formulations in old brand names

In the government-run centres, patients are given a daily dose of medicine for free of cost while private centres do so for a week or more. Moreover, there is no check on the quality of medicine procured by private centres.

The proposal has been lauded by Dr Rupinder Kapur, president of Punjab chapter of psychiatrists’ association.

“If everyone will have a level playing field, the maximum benefit will be of society. The move will bring more clinical autonomy to every psychiatrist,” Dr Kapur told TOI.


Source: with inputs
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