Government of India (GoI) decides to lift ban on retail sale of Oxytocin from September 2018

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has lifted ban on retail sale of life saving drug ‘Oxytocin’ with effect from 1st September 2018, which was restricted to retail sale from July 2018. Though, the Centre has imposed strict regulations on its sales and retained the monopoly of Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL) for manufacturing oxytocin. As per new rules, Oxytocin will be moved from schedule A to Schedule H1 that means retailer has to maintain a separate register giving the name and address of the prescriber, the patient, the drug and the quantity supplied. These records have to be maintained for 3 years and be available for inspection. Oxytocin is an essential drug used to prevent and treat bleeding after child birth. But, its misuse is widespread in the dairy industry, where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables and fruits such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers.

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