The Centre’s controversial ban on Oxytocin may have been stayed until October, but authorities in Delhi are already cracking down on illegal sales of the drug.
Authorities in the national capital have seized samples of Oxytocin from some vendors. This came after “a joint surprise check” was carried out by officers of the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the Drugs Control Department of Delhi.
The searches were carried out “in various chemist shops, departmental stores and dairies in Gazipur”, the Union health ministry said in a statement. Unlicensed sellers had any supplies of Oxytocin seized. Two arrests were made.
“Authorities in the national capital have seized samples of Oxytocin from some vendors…Two arrests were made”
A ban on production of the life-saving hormone drug was supposed to come into force on September 1st. However, legal challenges being heard in the Delhi High Court (DHC) delayed rollout of the prohibition to October.
The ban had originally been intended to come into effect from July 1st. However, the Centre postponed it to September so as to give Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (KAPL) – the sole firm that will be licensed to manufacture the drug – enough time to ready itself to meet demand.
The Centre had walked back its initial plans to ban the commercial sale of Oxytocin by private retailers. However, the drug is classified under schedule H1, meaning it cannot be sold over-the-counter without a prescription. Its misuse in the dairy and sex industries is what prompted the Centre’s plans to ban the drug and tighter restrictions on its distribution can be expected as the DHC hears pleas against the ban leading up to October.