PIL filed in HC against OTC sale of antibiotics

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 23 October 2018

“The petition draws attention to the duty of the state to assess and monitor any dependency or addiction to antibiotics and other high potency drugs and ensure that there is no damage to the consumers’ health by use of uncontrolled, unchecked self-medication,” said Sarge.

Pune: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in Mumbai High Court by Bharat Kothari, a Mumbai-based lawyer against the Union of India, Government of Maharashtra, Central Drugs Standard Control and the Drug Controller. 

The PIL demands action to address unchecked sales of high potency antibiotics without prescriptions as Over The Counter (OTC) products. The PIL states that due to unchecked sale and consumption of H and H1 category antibiotics as OTC products, there is drug resistance and impact on disease control measures and increased pressure on cost of healthcare. The petition was a result of a survey conducted across 500 pharmacies by a Mumbai-based activist,  Bharat Sarge who discovered that antibiotics in the categories of H and H1 were freely available among other OTC products.  

Speaking to Sakal Times, Sarge said temporary suspension of licences of pharmacies have failed and medicines continue to be dispensed irresponsibly by shop owners.

“It’s about time there is a system in place not only to control these irregularities effectively but severe punishment should be levied on  defaulters,” added Sarge.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Advocate Kothari said antibiotics have a serious impact on the health of the patient. “There have been several instances that the concerned authorities have not acted effectively to apply the stringent law. It is the duty of the State to control the situation before it goes out of hand. ,” said Kothari.

“The petition draws attention to the duty of the state to assess and monitor any dependency or addiction to antibiotics and other high potency drugs and ensure that there is no damage to the consumers’ health by use of uncontrolled, unchecked self-medication,” said Sarge.

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