TN DCA Initiates Action Against Use Of Diclofenac & Aceclofenac In Veterinary Treatments

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Drug Control Administration (TN DCA) has initiated action against the use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, diclofenac and aceclofenac, in veterinary treatments on account of sharp decline in vulture population in the forest areas of the state.

Taking the use of the drugs as a pharmaceutical threat to vultures, the forest and environmental ministry under the union government had earlier wanted all the state drug regulators to take action against the use of the drug, diclofenac, in veterinary treatments. The government of India had banned the use of diclofenac and its formulations for animal use in 2008. However, the government allowed use of the drug as a single dose injection for humans, said M Sridhar, deputy director at the TN DCA.

He said the state forest secretary, on November 2, called a meeting of the state Vulture Protection Committee (VPC) in which the department of drugs control is involved. Sridhar attended the meeting on behalf of the director and explained about the actions taken by the department in controlling the use of the banned formulations in animal use. He said 147 cases were taken against medical shops in the last three years for selling veterinary medicines containing the banned contents. The department is now planning a raid across the state exclusively to ascertain no analgesic or anti-inflammatory formulation is used in veterinary treatments.

The VPC has observed that vultures in various parts of Tamil Nadu are dying after eating the carcasses of cattle that were given the drug diclofenac for treatment. Sridhar will visit the forest areas of the state next week to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, in another incident of raids on medical shops, the sleuths of the TN DCA have slapped show-cause notices on as many as 17 medical shops in the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode for illegally selling abortion pills. The enforcement officials have found that the medical shops were not maintaining records and prescriptions with respect to the sale of abortion pills. Sources from the department informed Pharmabiz that illegal sales of abortion pills are existing among certain medical shops in these districts, so continuous inspections will be conducted.

In the southern part of Tamil Nadu, a major flaw was noted that medical shops in the districts of Kanyakumari, Thirunelveli, Thenkashi and Thuthukudi were selling habit forming drugs without prescriptions. The raided team of inspectors took action against the defaulters and served suspension orders of sale licenses to 7 shop owners. From another shops, the inspectors seized misbranded and not-of-standard quality drugs. Cases were taken against keeping such medicines in the shop.

Following the massive raids, the deputy director of the drug control administration has wanted the ADCs and drug inspectors all over Tamil Nadu to carry out raids on all medical shops to detect any kind of violation in drug laws. As part of this, the drug inspectors and the ADC of Cuddolure district conducted surprise raids on eight medical shops in Virudhachalam and issued suspension orders of licenses for various violations including non-maintenance of records. Sridhar said as many as 117 sale licenses were cancelled and six closure orders were issued in the last six months.

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