After reviewing 349 fixed dose combinations (FDCs), the apex advisory board on drugs has approved a report backing the Indian health ministry’s decision to ban 343 FDC medicines saying the remaining six should be “restricted or regulated”.
The report, prepared by a sub-committee of the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), will be sent to the health ministry in the next two weeks, following which the government will decide the fate of these drugs.
At this stage, it is not clear which drugs the sub-committee has recommended for taking action.
An FDC is a combination of two or more therapeutic drugs packed in a single dose. Several cough syrups, painkillers and dermatological drugs in India are FDCs.
In December last year, the health ministry had banned 349 FDCs, including popular brands like Saridon, Corex, D Cold Total, Phensedyl and Vicks Action 500 Extra, claiming they were “unsafe” and “irrational” for consumption.
The ban was estimated to affect around 6,000 medicine brands in India’s pharmaceuticals market and shave off more than Rs 3,000 crore from the Rs one lakh crore turnover.
Meanwhile, the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) has said that it is appalled at the pharma industry’s ‘disinformation’ which claims that the recommendations of the sub-committee will deal a huge ‘blow’ to it.