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Scheduled drugs’ list

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

Scheduled drugs’ list:


Context:

Bombay High Court has asked the Centre to include Remdesivir in the list of scheduled drugs and to regulate its pricing.

  • The direction came while the Bench was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the shortage of oxygen, non-availablity of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab injections, and hospital beds in Nagpur district.

Other measures suggested by the Court:

The court also said that it is possible to regulate the pricing if a liberal interpretation is given to the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act (DCA).

  • The provisions of the DCA allow restriction or regulation of prices of a drug that was essential during a natural calamity or epidemic.
  • Both the Drugs Control Act and DCA enable the central government to issue a notification to fix rates of essential drugs during an epidemic.

Need for:

If the powers conferred on the Central government are exercised, it will go a long way. It will stop extortion of money from families of COVID-19 patients, and will also put a full stop to the black-marketing of the drug.

Background:

The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 contains provisions for classification of drugs under given schedules and there are guidelines for the storage, sale, display and prescription of each schedule.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

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

Mains Link:

What are scheduled drugs? How are they classified? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.