FIRMS STOP MAKING 3 DRUGS THAT ARE ABUSED BY ADDICTS By Jyoti Shelar, Mumbai Mirror | Apr 9, 2015, 12.00 AM IST
In a first, two pharmaceutical companies have stopped production of three medicines on the insistence of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), as the drugs were being misused by addicts. While pharma major Cipla has stopped producing Tranax, an anti-anxiety tablet and Rexcof, a cough syrup, another company Lupin stopped making its cough syrup, R-coff.
FDA joint commissioner Sanjay Patil confirmed that both companies have stopped making the products. "Both Cipla and Lupin have given us in writing that they have stopped the production of these medicines," Patil told Mumbai Mirror, adding that the incidence of misuse of these products was extremely high. This is a rare case wherein pharmaceutical companies have given in to the pressure of FDA and stopped production.
Patil said, "In many raids, we caught hold of people in slums selling these drugs to addicts. A few drugs produced by other companies were also found but Cipla and Lupin drugs were far more in quantity. This meant there was a glaring loophole in the distribution process of both companies."
He added that the companies were given enough time to plug these loopholes. "When nothing worked out, we gave them a final warning that strict action will be taken and their licenses will be cancelled if they do not figure out the link between the excess stock of their medicines being sold illegally through some channel. Eventually, the companies decided to completely stop the production," said Patil.
The final decision in this regard was taken earlier this year.
Psychiatrist Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla said the incidence of misuse of drugs from the benzodiazepine family and codeine containing syrups has gone up tremendously. "There is slight control after FDA intensified its raids. However, we get plenty of patients with multi-substance abuse, who make do with these easily available medicines to get a high," said Matcheswalla, adding that alprazolams are extremely effective drugs to treat psychiatric patients but its misuse has gone up rampantly.
Emails sent to Cipla and Lupin went unanswered.