Published on: December 18, 2014

The whole of palliative care community of India feels that the ban of inexpensive analgesic Dextropropoxyphene is unreasonable. We also suspect that it is the onslaught of the industry which wants to promote more expensive medicines, which creates evidence against inexpensive drugs.

Following our representations, a technical committee of the Department of Health in April 2013 recommended that the ban be withdrawn conditionally. A year and a half later, the ban continues to remain in force. The result: people are forced to use the several-times-more-expensive alternatives.

While action is delayed, poor families starve because all available resources go towards the purchase of the fearfully expensive painkiller, now the only one available to most people in a country where less than 1% of the needy have access to morphine.

We understand from the Ministry of Health that officials are concerned with the stories of abuse of the drug, especially in North-Eastern states. The Ministry asked for our arguments against this fear. Tramadol is as prone to misuse as Dextropropoxyphene.

Those of you who would like to do something against this unjust ban, please write with your arguments to the Secretary of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Nirman Bhavan, C-Wing, New Delhi- 110001.

Comments are closed.