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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai May 31 , 2016
Within two months of the ban of 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs by the national drug regulator, all the irrational combinations have been weeded out from the medicine market in Tamil Nadu as desired by the Drugs Controller General (India), according to the president of the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association (TNCDA).
“We are not against the ban order, we give full support to the DCGI for his initiatives to weed out the irrational drugs from Indian market. However, given that the Delhi High Court has stayed the government order, our members have sold out all the stocks they had within one month’s time. Now we do not receive any prescription for the banned products from doctors who are being informed of the matter every time”, said Mannargudi Ramachandran, president of TNCDA.

While responding to queries from Pharmabiz, he said no manufacturer has tried to take back the products immediately after the prohibition order. Since the Delhi High Court has stayed the order, and the Madras High Court, though not stayed, directed the authorities not to take any coercive action against the traders, the chemists’ community was free to sell out the stocks within a few days of the ban.

However, the wholesalers’ wing of TNCDA is meeting on the 5th of next month in Chennai to discuss the post-FDC ban scenario. According to sources from the organisation, bundles of the combination drugs are lying with the wholesalers’ depots all over the state, and due to the ban order, they are unable to distribute/sell them out. The June 5 meeting will decide the fate of such products, sources informed. More than one thousand wholesalers have membership with the Tamil Nadu chemists association.

A leading pharma marketer in Chennai said on the same day of  the meeting of TNCDA, the marketers association has also called for a special meeting to discuss the same issue. “The marketers’ godowns are filled with several kinds of combination drugs. The manufacturers cannot take them back. All these drugs have been there in the market for several years. Because of the ban, we stopped distribution, but a decision for not making any loss either to the manufacturer or to the marketer, has to be emerged in the meeting”, said a Madurai based dealer.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that, discussions are going on among various medicine wholesalers and distributors’ groups to stand united under the leadership of TNCDA, the largest traders body in the state. Information received from various sources reveal that Mannargudi Ramachandran is likely to hold discussion with the office-bearers of Tamil Nadu Pharmaceutical Distributors’ Association, Consortium of Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Marketers Associations, Tamil Nadu Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association and a few other organisations concentrating their operations in the southern and western parts of the state.

The office-bearers of TNCDA have called on the new health minister soon after the swearing in ceremony of the state government.

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