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What is a Schedule H1 Drug?

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

What is a Schedule H1 Drug?

What to study?

For Prelims: Schedule H1 Drugs, overview Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

For Mains: Significance and implications of this decision.

Context: The government has notified anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine under Schedule-H1.

This was done in exercise of its powers conferred by Section 26B of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (23 of 1940).

  • The move is aimed at stopping misuse of the drug which has now been allowed by the government for prophylactic use in high risk contacts of Covid-19 patients and healthcare workers treating such patients.

 Implications of this classification:

  • It restricts its sale only based on prescription.
  • The sale of the drug from now on should be in accordance with the conditions for sale of drugs as specified in Schedule H1 to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
    This would mean that any preparation containing the said drug will have a warning label of ‘only prescription sale’ and against self-medication.
  • Additionally, chemists would need to maintain records for name and address of the prescriber, the name of the patient, the name of the drug and the quantity supplied and such records shall be maintained for three years and be open for inspection.

What are Schedule H1 Drugs?

The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, are the set of rules under The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, which has provisions for classification of drugs into different schedules and also guidelines for storage, sale, display.

Schedule H1 has been introduced through Gazette notification GSR 588 (E) dated 30-08-2013 to check the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, anti-TB and some other drugs in the country.

The schedule contains certain 3rd and 4th generation antibiotics, certain habit forming drugs and anti-TB drugs.

 As per government notification, these drugs are required to be sold in the country with the following conditions:

  1. The supply of a drug specified in Schedule H1 shall be recorded in a separate register at the time of the supply giving the name and address of the prescriber, the name of the patient, the name of the drug and the quantity supplied and such records shall be maintained for three years and be open for inspection.
  2. The drug specified in Schedule H1 shall be labelled with the symbol Rx which shall be in red and conspicuously displayed on the left top corner of the label, and shall also be labelled with the following words in a box with a red border:

Schedule_h1_drug

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Classification of drugs in India.
  2. Schedule H vs X drugs.
  3. Important drugs under this schedule.

Mains Link:

The government has recently notified anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine under Schedule-H1. What are schedule H1 drugs? Why they are significant? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.