Anesthetic drug Ketamine will no longer be available over the counter in India and can be obtained only with a prescription in duplicate. Chemists will have to retain the duplicate prescription for two years.
In a drug consultative committee meeting last week,the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) shifted Ketamine from Schedule H to Schedule X,for which special control measures will have to be taken.
The decision was taken following complaints of its misuse.
India has become a major Ketamine source for South East Asian countries. The shifting of Ketamine from H to X will help bring this down, said Dr Surinder Singh,DCGI.
Shifting Ketamine would mean an extensive documentation for chemists,including two sets of prescription. Chemists would need a licence from the State Food and Drug Administration to sell it or face punishment.