FDA initiates action against 2 companies
The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) has initiated action against two companies based in Patna and Ahmedabad for illegal sale of narcotics and psychotropic substances like alprazolam and codeine containing cough syrups.
These two firms were selling alprazolam and codeine containing products without a valid bill and prescription in violation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act. Cough syrups were sourced from a manufacturing unit in Himachal Pradesh on which investigations are going on, as per FDCA officials.
In its ongoing crackdown on illegal sale of narcotic substances and Schedule H1 drugs, Gujarat FDCA canceled more than 80 licenses based on the intelligence reports during the lockdown period. Four firms have also been prosecuted for the violations. There are close to 40,000 drug wholesalers and retailers in Gujarat.
According to Gujarat FDCA commissioner Dr H G Koshia, “Cases have been rampant wherein retail chemists and unscrupulous drug traders in and around academic institutions and industrial areas targeted vulnerable groups and sold these drugs illegally.”
Also read: Lockdown hits production of bulk drug
Action by FDCA
The state drug regulator had earlier booked 217 drug retailers for illegal sale of codeine containing cough syrups at exorbitant prices. Raids were conducted on over 300 drug retail stores in Ahmedabad, Patan and Nadiad in which 42 licenses were canceled to curtail illegal sale of narcotics and prescription drugs.
As per official reports, Gujarat FDCA has been monitoring rampant misuse and abuse of cough syrup brands over the past two years. It has also been observed that stockists have been found violating the conditions of license as per Rule 65 of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules.
The regulations of narcotics drugs or Schedule X are more severe than that for psychotropic substances under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act. Schedule X comprises of 15 drugs currently as compared to 17 earlier. Meprobamate, methylphenidate and amphetamine are some of the drugs which can be misused.