Be Aware !! of the medicines you take

Be Aware !! of the medicines you take

By Priya Vijaykrishnan
Founder / CEO – Privik Pharma Solutions
[Navi Mumbai]

From bewilderment of patients to the outrage of pharmaceutical companies threatening to drag the government to court, the March 12 notification banning 337 combinations of drugs has caused a flutter in the country. However, the ban is neither sudden nor irrational as many would have us believe. It is in fact, the logical conclusion of a long pending demand of the votaries of rational use of drugs for a ban on Fixed-Dose Combinations (FDCs), some of which have been approved by state drug administrations without a clearance from the Centre and have little therapeutic justification.

FDCs are medicines in which two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are combined in a fixed dose medicine to form a single drug. Side-effects of the combined product and its effects are different from those of its individual components and sometimes the combination can come fraught with risks that are not there in the components by themselves. The added danger is that when an adverse reaction happens in a patient, it is often difficult to place which ingredient is responsible for that reaction. In many cases the combination was merely a way to stump competition rather than a decision with a sound medical basis.

For example, a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology in 2010 found “Nimesulide and paracetamol combination offers no advantage over nimesulide alone or paracetamol alone, either in terms of degree of analgesia or onset of action.

Among the commonly used brands that are banned, after the notification are cough syrups phensedyl and corex, the popular and widely advertised cold medicine Vicks Action 500 – since have been taken off the shelves.