On Friday (August 31st, 2018), the Delhi High Court suspended the ban that was imposed by the Centre on the manufacturing and distribution of the hormone drug oxytocin by the private companies. Oxytocin is a uterine stimulant hormone which is used to induce labour during childbirth and control bleeding after it. It is also used to help abort the foetus in case of incomplete abortion or miscarriage.
A Bench comprising of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice A.K. Chawla gave an interim order on pleas challenging the government’s ban on the drug in the market and listed the case for September 12, 2018, for further arguments.
Earlier in April 2018, the government restricted private companies from manufacturing or supplying the drug (oxytocin) to stop its alleged misuse in the dairy sector, where it was injected into dairy animals to increase their milk production.
As per the notification issued by the Centre, Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a government company, was solely allowed to manufacture the drug to meet the needs of the country.
The court noted that when the decision was taken in February 2018 to put a stop on the sale of oxytocin, KAPL was not a licenced manufacturer and the license was issued to them later in April 2018.
The court was hearing pleas filed by NGO - All India Drug Action Network amongst others which contended that it would not be advisable to depend on one company alone, especially when it allegedly has not made the product earlier.