The central government has announced that it will be revoking the ban placed on the sale of anti-diabetes drug Pioglitazone less than a month it had banned the drug.
The health ministry had banned the drug following some studies which showed that it increased the risk of bladder cancer among its users. However the ban had been criticized both by the medical community and pharma companies, who termed it as 'hasty'.
Pioglitazone was one of the more popular drugs among diabetics due to it being affordable with more than 30 lakh users prior to the ban. The drug was banned by the government after a recommendation from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) following a petition filed by a Chennai-based doctor after the adverse effects of the drug was linked to eight cases of urinary bladder cancer in the city.
However doctors opposed the ban, stating that there has been no proper study to identify the side effects of the drug which was cheaper than other alternative drugs. A number of doctors also stated that the benefits of the drug far outweighed the risks, adding that it should seen as a third or fourth option for the doctors and should be prescribed in small quantities.
"The drug should be used judiciously. The benefits of this 'insulin sensitiser' outweighs the risks. Pioglitazone is probably the most potent and effective oral drug option among the five available groups, the sixth being insulin", endocronologist Hemant Phale said.