The Delhi High Court Friday set aside a government order banning private firms from producing and selling oxytocin- a drug commonly used during childbirth to induce contractions and control bleeding.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla said there was no scientific basis behind the Centre’s decision restricting private companies from making or supplying the drug, which helps new mothers lactate, to prevent its alleged misuse in the dairy sector for increasing milk production. The court said the centre’s order was “arbitrary and unreasonable.”
Oxytocin is naturally secreted by the pituitary glands of mammals during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding, and is sometimes called “love hormone”. It is chemically synthesised and sold by pharmaceutical companies across the world. It’s used during childbirth because it can contract the uterus and induce delivery, control bleeding, and promote the release of breast milk. An oxytocin injection is generally available for Rs 3-20 at any chemist.
As per the Centre’s April 27 notification, the state-run Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL) was solely allowed by the Centre to make the drug to meet the country’s needs. The high court on August 31 had suspended till September 30 the central government’s prohibition on sale and manufacture of oxytocin by private companies for domestic use. The stay was later extended till December 15.
(Inputs from PTI)