Now, psychiatric clinics & hospitals to have access to deaddiction medicines

Medicine Sale Was Restricted In Sept 2010

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Sanjeev.Verma@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

In view of the “extremely less availability” of deaddiction medicines like buprenorphine and naloxone and lack of access of the same to trained psychiatrists, the Union government has decided to make these two medicines available to psychiatric clinics and hospitals.

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The director general of health services, central drugs standard control organisation, on Thursday issued a letter in this regard to the drug controllers of all states and Union Territories. The directorate has amended the earlier conditions regarding restriction of sale and distribution of the combination of these two medicines on the basis of recommendations of a subject expert committee consisting of neurologists and psychiatrists.

Recommending modification of the restrictions imposed on September 24, 2010, on sale and distribution of the combination of the abovesaid medicines, the expert committee had endorsed, “Buprenorphine 2mg/0.4mg sublingual tablet and FDC (fixed dose combination) of buprenorphine and naloxone (2mg+0.5mg and 0.4mg+0.1 mg) sublingual tablets should be allowed to be supplied to psychiatric clinics, hospitals instead of earlier condition that the drug should be supplied to deaddiction centres only.”

The expert committee was constituted after the association of psychiatrists had made a representation to the Centre to withdraw the earlier restrictions. The association had cited various reasons with their demand, including “extremely less availability” of these two medicines in drug deaddiction centres, improper definition of deaddiction centres and lack of access of these medicines to trained psychiatrists.

The Punjab government had also taken up this issue with the Union government and has also decided to encourage doctors to open psychiatric nursing homes, drug deaddiction and rehabilitation centres to provide treatment to a significant number of substance abuse patients. The state health department is also framing new rules to grant licences to private centres, which would be notified under the Mental Health Care Act, 2017.

As per the letter issued on Thursday by the directorate, “A list of the centres to whom supply of the drug is made should be made to the officer of drugs controller general (I) periodically indicating the quantity supplied to each centre.”

The drug controllers of all states and Union Territories have also been directed to stipulate these conditions while granting licences to the manufacturers of these two medicines.

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