CDSCO Decided To Make The Regulations On Misuse Of Oxytocin

As reports of widespread abuse of Oxytocin, a neurotransmitter, and peptide hormone, in dairy and horticulture industry crop up consistently, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has decided to make the regulations more stringent to handle the threat.

The top brass of the national pharmaceutical regulatory body will hold an essential meeting on February 22 with every one of the manufacturers of Oxytocin formulation for human and animal use in the country to discuss ways to check the abuse of the drug which can’t be completely prohibited as it has many beneficial medical uses.

“The government is aware of illegal manufacture, import, and sale of Oxytocin in the country.  Various measures have been taken to control its abuse by the CDSCO and the ministry of health and family welfare. In any case, we require the support of the industry to convey these steps to a successful conclusion,” an official said.

Oxytocin, otherwise called ‘love hormone’ as it is released when individuals snuggle up or bond socially, has various medical uses. It causes uterine contractions in this way inducing labor naturally, controls post-delivery bleeding and helps new moms to lactate.

However, it is abused widely in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with it to influence them to release milk at a convenient time. The hormone is additionally also used by farmers to plump up vegetables such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds, and cucumbers. Several studies have demonstrated that sustained utilization of the drug can cause hormonal imbalance in humans and destroy the conceptive reproductive system of animals, cutting their lifespan significantly.

The CDSCO had stepped in several times in the past to control the abuse of Oxytocin. It is named a Schedule H medicate under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and can be sold on the prescription of a medical practitioner only. The injections are single in single unit blister packs to evade its bulk sale. Prior this year, the regulator issued an Oxytocin alert asking drug controllers to crackdown on illegal use.

Notwithstanding these measures, cases of abuse surface often. A month ago, more than 20,000 samples of veterinary Oxytocin were seized in Patna. But the drug controller’s stern actions don’t run down well with the manufacturers in Bihar.

The drug controlling expert is rapped for lack of transparency in regulations. The manufacturers point out that the use of veterinary Oxytocin in blister packaging is permitted in veterinary colleges and hospitals.

“It isn’t a restricted. Its sale is banned only in the retail market. Manufacturers will make drugs that are in demand. The implementation of regulations is the responsibility of authorities,” Bihar Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association president Sanjiv Rai told.

As indicated by sources, the meeting on February 22 would weigh options such as a ban on the import, more tightly distribution standards and stricter rules to prevent its agricultural use.

Representatives of Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA), The Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE), Confederation of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI) and Indian Federation of Animal Health Companies (INFAH) are expected to participate in the deliberations.

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