Drug regulators in dilemma over the steps taken to prevent Oxytocin Misuse

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A widely misused neurotransmitter and peptide hormone, Oxytocin has become the major issue in the minds of drug regulators as the steps taken by The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to ban the misuse of Oxytocin failed.

CDSCO bans its import, but this step also not delivered expected results.  Drug regulators are in dilemma and working to find a solution to stop the misuse of Oxytocin. But their top-level meeting was also ended without any concrete decision.

The dairy and horticulture industry using Oxytocin widely and it’s very important to ban its usage because of its side-effects. CDSCO crucial meetings with manufacturers and industry lobby groups also failed to find a solution. Top to bottom discussions regarding oxytocin also not helped a team to decide actions that can prevent its misuse.

The key proposal that is under consideration is the restriction on its manufacturing and distribution to the public sector by the Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KAPL) and HLL Lifecare respectively. But this proposal left the domestic manufacturers jittery and various industry associations against it.

Oxytocin is included in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) as a critical and life-saving drug as it takes effect sooner than most other uterotonic drugs. A decision to push off private firms from its manufacturing will deal a severe blow to the domestic industry. There are more than 60 companies, spread across Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab, manufacturing oxytocin injections in India. Many of them will go out of business if the government plan materializes.

Often called the ‘love hormone’ as it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially, oxytocin causes uterine contractions thereby inducing labor naturally and controls post-delivery bleeding. It is misused in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with it to make them release milk at a convenient time. Many farmers use it to plump up vegetables. Studies have proved that its sustained use can cause hormonal imbalance in humans and ruin the reproductive system of animals, cutting their lifespan substantially.

The regulators are fully aware of this growing misuse.

 

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