Health Ministry prohibits manufacture, sale, and distribution of Fixed Dose Combinations
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prohibited the manufacture for sale, sale or distribution for human use of 328 Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) with immediate effect. It has also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions.
The Central Government had, through its notifications published on the 10th March 2016 in the Gazette of India, prohibited the manufacture for sale, sale, and distribution for human use of 344 FDCs under section 26 A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Subsequently, the Government had prohibited five more FDCs in addition to the 344 under the same provisions.
- The prohibition on the FDCs was contested by the affected manufacturers in various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
- The matter was examined by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board constituted under section 5 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, in compliance with the directions given by the apex court. The board then submitted its report on these drugs to the Union Government.
- In its recommendations, the drugs advisory board stated that there is no therapeutic justification for the ingredients contained in 328 FDCs and that these FDCs may involve risk to human beings.
- The board recommended that it is necessary to prohibit the manufacture, sale or distribution of these FDCs in the larger public interest.
- With regard to the six FDCs, the board recommended that their manufacture, sale, and distribution be restricted subject to certain conditions based on their therapeutic justification.
- The 15 FDCs out of the 344 prohibited on March 10, 2016, which were claimed to be manufactured before September 21, 1988, have been kept out of the purview of current notifications.
- An expert committee appointed by the Union Government had also examined the FDCs earlier and had made recommendations in line with those of the board.
- The recommendations of the Expert Committee and Drugs Technical Advisory Board, the Government came to a conclusion that it is necessary and expedient in public interest to prohibit the manufacture for sale, sale, and distribution for human use of these 328 FDCs in the country.
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has, in exercise of powers conferred by section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940,prohibited the manufacture for sale, sale or distribution for human use of 328 FDCs through its gazette notifications dated 7th September 2018; it has also restricted the manufacture, sale or distribution of six FDCs subject to certain conditions.