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Provide 'partial list' of over the counter drugs to doctors: HC to Centre

twitter-logoPTI | July 3, 2019 | Updated 18:17 IST

New Delhi, Jul 3 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Centre to provide a "partial list" of over the counter (OTC) drugs to doctors and pharmacists by September 12. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the direction on a PIL initiated by the court on its own after receiving a letter from a doctor for formulation of a law relating to OTC drugs and preparation of a list of such medication. "You (Centre) already know which are the scheduled drugs. So, collate the remaining medicines into a list and provide it to them," the court told the central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, representing the health ministry. Digpaul told the court that a sub-committee constituted by the 52nd Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) has already examined the issue raised in the PIL and has given a report on several aspects regarding OTC drugs including its definition, basic characteristics, manufacturing, labelling, distribution, sale and pricing. He said that the sub-committee's report was being examined by another sub-committee which shall give its final report in three months to the DCC which will forward it to the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) for further consideration. However, the bench was not impressed and said that going by the status report shown to it, the government appears to "have not understood what they (doctors) are asking for". "As things stand today, it is not that difficult to provide a list of OTC drugs," the court said, directing that a "partial list" be provided to doctors before the next date of hearing on September 12. The PIL was initiated by the court after receiving a letter from Dr K K Aggarwal, a Padma Shree awardee and the National President of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), seeking formulation of a law regarding OTC drugs and preparation of a list of such medicines in India. Aggarwal, who has been appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter, has contended that the list of OTC drugs would help to advance consumer health because it would allow people to treat or manage many health conditions conveniently and successfully. PTI HMP SKV RHL

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