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CDSCO seizes suspected oxytocin drug during surprise check

NEW DELHI: Plastic bottles suspected to be injections of oxytocin, a drug misused by dairy operators and some farmers, were seized during a surprise check at a departmental store by central drug regulator CDSCO and Delhi government’s drug Control department in east Delhi, the Union Health Ministry said Sunday.

A case has been registered against the person who runs the store, which, the ministry said, did not have license to sell or distribute the drug, under provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules, 1945.

On Sunday, a surprise check was carried out in chemist shops, departmental stores and dairies in Ghazipur in east Delhi by a team of officers of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and Drug Control Department, NCT Delhi.

During the search, the team seized plastic bottles (200 ml and 100 ml), suspected to be oxytocin injection, from a departmental store run by Rajinder Pal Sethi.

“The samples of seized bottles have also been collected for test/analysis as per the procedures under the said Act and Rules.

“A case against the accused Sethi at Gazipur police station for contravening the provisions of Section 18 (c) r/w 27(b) (ii) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, “ the ministry said in a statement.

The process for launching prosecution against the accused under the provisions of the Act has also been initiated.

In 2015, CDSCO raided various places in Ghazipur and seized a large quantity of oxytocin bottles from stores and unlicensed premises.

Two persons were arrested and prosecution was launched against those accused and the matter is under trial before a Delhi court.

“CDSCO has already requested all the state/UT drugs controllers as well as its zonal, sub-zonal and port offices to sensitize their inspectorate staff to keep strict vigil on manufacture, sale and distribution of oxytocin in the country and take all measures to ensure that the drug is not manufactured/sold illegally and its misuse is prevented, “ the statement pointed out.

Oxytocin is a peptide hormone used in various conditions such as induction of labour, control of postpartum bleeding or haemorrhage, etc.

It has been reported from time to time that clandestine activities of manufacture and sale of oxytocin is leading to its grave misuse, which is harmful to animals and humans.

Its misuse is mostly in the dairy industry, where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk.

As part of its efforts to check the misuse of oxytocin by dairy operators and some farmers, the Ministry of Health had restricted its manufacture for domestic use to public sector only. The Delhi High Court recently suspended for a month the Centre’s ban on private companies producing and distributing oxytocin.

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