After several years of debate regarding the safety of nimesulide, cisapride and phenylpropanolamine (PPA) the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr. Surinder Singh has finally decided to ban these three unsafe drugs. Since the adverse effects of these drugs outweigh the benefits the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) that had been examining the safety of the three drugs for several years has now recommended their withdrawal from the market.
Nimesulide was the most controversial among the three drugs. Many developed countries like US, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other 168 countries had already banned these drugs. However it is freely sold in India by prominent pharmaceutical companies like Dr Reddy's, Panacea Biotech and several others. Cisapride, another unsafe drug was found to increase upper gastrointestinal tract motility. Due to its side effects even this drug is banned in many countries. The drug continued to remain in the market even though the possible dangerous side effects of the drug had been brought to the notice of the DCGI 10years back. PPA used in cold and cough remedies is freely available in India. However it was banned in┬áNorth America and Western Europe some years ago. The DTAB is now reviewing the use of Gatifloxacin, tegaserod and deanxit which have been banned in some of the developed countries. In the past diabetes drug Rosiglitazone and anti-obesity drug Rimonabant have been banned from the Indian markets.
AdvertisementThis shows the need for stricter evaluation of safety and efficacy of any new drug before introducing it in the market.