The Health Ministry has lifted the ban on retail sale of oxytocin but imposed stricter norms for retail sales, the Times of India has reported. As per the new rules, oxytocin will be moved from schedule H to schedule H1. The new rules will be applicable from 1 September.
Oxytocin is called “love” or “cuddle” hormone, as the release of oxytocin increases when you hug a person. The drug is a key element in the labour room to manage post-partum bleeding. The World Health Organisation recommends oxytocin for management of post-partum haemorrhage that is the primary cause for maternal mortality in India.
The ban on private manufacture and sale was imposed because of misuse of the drug by the dairy industry. Cows and buffaloes are injected oxytocin to force them to produce more milk. The Centre came up with these measures following a ruling by the Himachal High Court.
For schedule H drug the retailer is supposed to sell only if the buyer has a prescription from a registered practitioner. But for a schedule H1 drugs, the retailer has to maintain a separate register where the name and address of prescriber, the patient, and quantity sold. These records have to be maintained for three years and be available for inspection. These measures are expected to curb misuse of the drug.
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