CHANDIGARH: In the war against drugs, the Punjab food and drugs administration (FDA) has seized habit-forming drugs worth Rs 4 crore from 938 retailer/wholesale outlets under Drug and Cosmetics Act in the last one year.
The seizures include 5.42 lakh tablets, 57,340 capsules, 4,654 injections and 1,190 syrups. The seized drugs are being destroyed in a phased manner.
Punjab health minister Balbir Sing Sidhu said the FDA had already restricted the sale of eight types of drugs, which include drugs formulations containing diphenoxylate, dextropropoxyphene, codeine and their salts, psychotropic substances buprenorphine, pentazocine, nitrazepam and their salts, and tramadol and tapentadol in solid oral dosage forms.
He said 90% licensed chemists of the state are not allowed to stock and sell these formulations and only those chemists are allowed whose shops are inside or outside hospitals.
Taking strict action against violators, several drugs licenses were suspended/cancelled, he said. The department also made amendments to the drug policy to control the mushrooming of chemist shops in urban and rural areas.
Punjab FDA commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said for effective control of the purchase, sale and distribution of habit-forming drugs, the department had framed guidelines that no habit-forming drugs would be supplied by manufacturer or traders without written authentic order of the purchaser and payment against such supplies would be made through cheque, draft or RTGS transactions.
He said the state government also set up a food and drug-testing lab at Kharar, which is equipped with latest equipment working under the supervision of highly trained staff. Recently, the FDA launched a helpline number (9815206006) where people could provide information against chemists indulging in malpractices.