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Banning Irrational Drug Combinations: Right Step, Wrong Method

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When the government is not interested in investing in public health, private pharmaceutical companies try exploit public and their money -- aided mainly by the lack of government interventions which give uncontrollable play to the private players. The recent government ban on 344 fixed dose combination drugs and the court order later to freeze is a good example of this. Fixed-dose combination drugs are those combining two or more active drugs in a fixed ratio into a single dosage for particular diseases. The ban list includes Vicks Action 500, Corex cough syrup and other popular medicines which are in the market for long time. 

To discuss this issue Dr. Amit Sengupta joined Prabir Purkayastha in the Newsclick studio. Dr. Sengupta said, the government should have a clear policy to control the fixed dose combination drugs, rather than banning selective ones. Although, these medicines should not be prescribed for small diseases like cough, it is irrationally used widely in India. He said, the leading global pharmaceutical companies have major stakes even in the cough syrup business in India. The profit oriented business between the big pharmaceutical companies and the practitioners has made the situation worse. Public health has to be treated as the responsibility of the government, requiring increase in expenditure, he emphasised.

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