New Delhi: The Delhi high court today sought the Centre’s stand on a PIL against the ban on private companies from producing and distributing oxytocin, a drug that can prevent excessive bleeding after pregnancy.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V.K. Rao issued notice to the health ministry and sought its response to the plea by August 26, the next date of hearing.
All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), an NGO which works towards ensuring access to essential medicines, in its plea, sought setting aside of the government’s ban which would come into effect from September 1.
The government had in April this year restricted private companies from making or supplying the drug, used to treat excessive bleeding in women during childbirth and help new mothers lactate, to prevent its alleged misuse in the dairy sector. It is misused on cattle to increase milk production.
It had allowed the state-run Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd to make the drug to meet the country’s needs.
Some of the private companies which made and sold the drug in India are Pfizer and Mylan.
Mylan has also challenged the Centre’s decision in the high court.
The NGO, in its plea, has contended that it would not be advisable to depend on one company alone, especially when it allegedly has not made the product earlier.