PUNJAB’S DRUG controller has cancelled licences of three drug wholesale dealers after the department found discrepancies in the sale of Tramadol, an opioid pain medication, which doctors say is now becoming an opioid substitute for drug addicts in the state. Officials said licences of two more wholesale dealers had been suspended.
Sources in the Punjab health department said five wholesalers faced action after irregularities were found in the sale of Tramadol. The dealers whose licences were cancelled are located in Jalandhar and Ludhiana districts, while two suspended dealers are based in Jalandhar and Faridkot.
Sources said the state drug control department had decided to monitor drug wholesalers across the state to prevent misuse of Tramadol. Tramadol is administered in small quantities for a brief period to treat narcotic addiction. If the drug is used for a longer period, users develop a dependence on it.
The Punjab government is also considering restrictions on the sale of Tramadol. The government is planning to include it in the list of a few medicines – that are restricted for sale. Drug department officials said once it would be put in the restriction list, it won’t be available at 90 per cent of the places.
Doctors in the state maintain that the increasing misuse of Tramadol is leading to serious medical complication among the drug addicts. “It [Tramadol] needs to be curbed. We are seeing cases where addicts are using Tramadol in huge quantities,” said a psychiatrist based in Ludhiana.