New Delhi: In an irony of sorts, though the Government has banned procurement and sale of Tamiflu, the wonder drug for the deadly H1N1 virus, by private companies within the country, manufacturers are allowed to export the medicine.
The Central Government maintains that Oseltamivir the generic version of Tamiflu, is not allowed to be distributed through private channels in India as experts have warned that its indiscriminate use can result in the virus developing resistance to the medicine.
However, the export of the medicine is not forbidden by law and thus foreign companies can come and acquire cheaper generic version of the drug from India.
In fact, the department of pharmaceuticals held a meeting with drug manufacturers on May 1 and decided on the course of action when approached by any such foreign firm, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Vineet Chaudhary told PTI.
He said the Government has decided to stockpile 10 million doses of Tamilflu and the pharmaceuticals department has directed the manufacturers to first fulfill that quota and then think about exporting.
Director Indian Council for Medical Research V N Katoch had earlier said, “We do not want the drug to be used indiscriminately thus after much deliberation it has been decided that only government hospitals and agencies would supply the drug”.