Addictive substances in cough syrup is allotted in excess: PIL
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 21:02
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked Maharashtra FDA, Drug Controller of India and Narcotic Commissioner of India to file a reply in four-week on a PIL alleging that the state Food and Drug Administration is allocating excess amounts of Codeine Phosphate, an opium derived ingredient of cough syrup, to pharma companies.

Codeine, which is used in almost all top cough syrup brands, is a habit-forming substance, and only government companies manufacture and supply it to pharma companies.

According to Society For Awareness of Civil Rights, the petitioner organisation, since it is an opium product, International Narcotic Control Board controls its global consumption.

Every country is is allocated a quota, depending on its medical needs. India too is member of INCB.

The PIL said after INCB decides how much codeine India can manufacture, Drug Controller General (India) allocates a quota to every state. FDA authorities in the state in turn decide how much codeine the local pharma companies can procure.

But, the PIL alleged, the state FDA is violating the quota system. Citing an example, it said in 2008 Drug Controller General allocated 6,000 kg of Codeine Phosphate for state, but Joint Commissioner and Drug Controller, FDA, distributed 23,944 kg of Codeine to pharmaceutical companies in the state.

Besides, as per the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, a person or a company can consume only 200 kg of Codeine in a year, for medicinal purpose.

This cap is being grossly violated as many major pharma companies are getting as much as 1,000 kg of codeine, the petitioner's lawyer C J Sawant said.


First Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 21:02

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