New Delhi: After an expert panel found possibilities of health risks, the Indian government has banned around 6,000 brands of medicine. The banned list comprises several popular painkillers, creams, antibiotics, antidiabetic drugs which you can no longer buy from the market.

In its latest notification, the health ministry has prohibited the manufacture and sale of 328 fixed dose combinations (FDC) with effect from yesterday. These FDC drugs, which contain two or more active ingredients in a fixed dosage ratio, were being sold in the market so far under various brand names.

5 things to know about the drug ban:

1. The strict step by government is based on recommendations made by a panel of experts formed by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB). The panel had said there is no therapeutic justification for the ingredients contained in these FDCs. The expert panel had even flagged off possible risks to those taking these FDCs which are now banned.

2. Citing public interest, DTAB had recommended banning these drugs completely under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. In 2016, the health ministry banned these FDCs but pharmaceutical companies took the matter to court.

3. The Supreme Court asked DTAB to decide on these FDCs and submit a report to it after which the decision was taken.

4. Besides the 328 drugs, another 6 FDCs have also come under scrutiny. The government has restricted its sale subject to therapeutic justification.

5. The health ministry’s ban on FDCs included painkillers, anti-diabetic, respiratory and gastro-intestinal medicines, covering 6,000 brands.

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