As many as 439 drugs, including brands like Phensedyl and Corex which have been banned for sale and distribution, but some of them continue to be available in the markets due to the intervention of courts, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar said on Tuesday.
Kumar said in Lok Sabha that these 439 drugs, including 344 fixed dose combinations, were banned after examination of the samples of the medicines.
“Many of the drug manufacturers approached various High Courts and got stay orders. Urgent and immediate persuasion is being made by the government to vacate the orders of the High Courts so that the ban on drugs could be implemented as early as possible,” he said during Question Hour.
The Minister said the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation, the nodal authority to examine samples of medicines, worked independently and does not follow the recommendations of regulators of other countries.
“This is our own regulator and our own experts. We don’t blindly follow other drug regulators,” he said.
Kumar said the manufacturing, sale and distribution of drugs in the country are regulated under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 through a system of licensing and inspection.
Licence for manufacturing, sale and distribution of drugs are granted by state licensing authorities appointed by respective state governments.
“Manufacturing and marketing of banned drugs is a punishable offence under Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the State Licensing Authorities are empowered to take action in such cases,” the Minister said.