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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Drug mentioned in FIR, its uses and abuses

The Punjab Police has mentioned the illegal trade of pseudoephedrine in its FIR against senior Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
December 23, 2021 7:13:01 am
SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia.(File)

What is pseudoephedrine? what is its status in India?
Pseudoephedrine is largely known as a sympathomimetic drug used to relieve nasal congestion caused by allergies, cold etc. It is one of the controlled substance in India, which is being used by pharmaceutical companies in making various medicines. “Pseudoephedrine is one of the controlled substances out of seven in India. These substances are also known as precursor substances. These are the chemicals which can be used for the manufacturing of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substance.

Section 9A of the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 authorizes the law enforcement agencies to control and regulate these substances, including pseudoephedrine in India,” a senior NCB officer said. Other controlled substances are Acetic Anhydride, Ephedrine & its Salts, N-Acetyl Anthranilic Acid, Anthranilic Acid and two others.

Which agency controls the trade of pseudoephedrine?
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Central Bureau of Narcotics are the two prominent agencies besides the states’ health department, customs departments, which look after the use of pseudoephedrine in pharmaceutical companies in India. “Every pharmaceutical company has to obtain the clearance from the area unit of NCB besides the state/UT health department about the use of pseudoephedrine in the manufacturing of medicines. The company will have to take the permission of Central Bureau of Narcotics (CBN) in case of the import and export of this substance,” says Gyanendra Kumar Singh, Zonal Director, NCB, Chandigarh. The units, institutes etc dealing with pseudoephedrine have to maintain the record of the procurement, usage, storage etc of this substance on a daily basis.

What are the legal and illegal uses of pseudoephedrine?
There is dual use of pseudoephedrine. Legally, this substance is used in the manufacturing of amphetamines, which can be sold only on the prescription of doctors. Its illegal use is in the making of drugs, which are sold without any prescription. A senior NCB officer says, “Pseudoephedrine is an important ingredient to be used in the making of crystal methamphetamine also known as ‘Ice’, which is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system.

Though there is no significant market of this drug (Ice) in India, in foreign countries like Canada, USA, it is a popular drug. Manufacturer of this drugs is always in search of easy supply of pseudoephedrine.” Psychatrist Dr Subodh BN, who treats addiction in PGI, says, “Pseudoephedrine is a controlled substance. It is being used for making the highly addictive drugs. There is a less consumption of Ice in our region as compared to other substances, including opium, heroin and cannabis.”

What the FIR states about pseudoephedrine?
As per the FIR registered under sections 25, 27(A), 29 of the NDPS Act, 1985, the pseudoephedrine was transported from a local pharmaceutical unit to Canada.

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