The Indian Palliative care community is aghast at what can only be described as a calamity The Government of India has banned Dextropropoxyphene. The axe has fallen on the least expensive step II opioid available for oral use. Any other step II opioid is five times as expensive. 100 mg of Tramadol four times a day would cost twice the daily income that defines the poverty line. Stringent narcotic regulations restrict the availability of oral morphine to a tiny fraction of the needy. What the average Indian could afford and could get is Dextropropoxyphene. The major argument against it seems to be that westerners use it to attempt suicide. This is hardly relevant for India.
The evidence against Dextropropoxyphene is flimsy. Positive scientific evidence is usually available only in favor of expensive drugs because drug research is costly, because 90% of drug research is funded by the Pharmaceutical industry which has little interest in inexpensive drugs and because it suits the interest of the industry if inexpensive drugs are pushed out of the market.
We should not accept this. We have the duty to present the evidence before the authorities and to seek a solution.
GAZETTE Dextropropoxyphene banned
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