‘India has Become Dumping Ground for Drugs Banned in Other Countries’
NEW DELHI: Pharmaceutical companies have long used India as a dumping ground for irrational fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs rejected by other countries, argued the government’s counsel at the Delhi High Court. The battle between the Centre and several drug makers that have opposed the ban implemented on their brands last month is set to continue as the court has extended their interim relief for four more days. “India has become a dumping ground for drugs banned in other countries,” Additional Solicitor General and the government’s counsel, Sanjay Jain, argued in defense of the health ministry’s move to ban 344 FDCs . “We are trying to stop that,” he told the court on Monday. The government’s counsel argued that such a pileup of FDCs has contributed to drug resistance among many Indians.
According to Jain, the Centre was only approached for approvals for four or five brands out of all the drugs currently petitioned at court. A majority of these brands have received licences from State Licensing Authorities (SLAs) without following this process, according to him. Over 100 petitions have been filed following the gazette notification released on March 10. The government’s counsel also pointed out that 1,500 approvals have been granted pursuant to this exercise.
The Centre is not influenced by actions previously taken by the Drug Controller General of India, who had granted the approvals to the select brands earlier, Jain said. DCGI was not actively involved in the Centre’s exercise to study and ban these FDCs, he added. “This exercise is different from the one taken at present,” he said, adding that DCGI looked at individual cases before granting approvals, while the government has not targeted specific brands in banning the combinations. ASG further argued the expert committee was constituted because the statutory Drugs Technical Advisory Board would not be able to take on an exercise of this magnitude.