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Restricting oxytocin production might hamper saving lives: IMA

ANI | Updated: Feb 13, 2019 23:51 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 13 (ANI): Seeking reconsideration of the Centre's decision that allowed the exclusive production of oxytocin to Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KAPL), the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday said it would create an artificial shortage of the drug and thus jeopardise lives. 
IMA has no objections to KAPL for manufacturing oxytocin solely for veterinary purpose if indicated, but by curtailing the manufacturing of a life-saving drug will only create an artificial bottleneck and shortage,” said IMA National President Dr Santanu Sen.
Earlier, the government in a bid to curb the misuse of oxytocin in the dairy sector for augmentation of milk production, handed rights of production of the drug exclusively to KAPL.
Sen said, “Being listed in the essential medicines list of World Health Organization (WHO), restricting its manufacture to one company, could jeopardize the lives of many young mothers by increasing the incidences of haemorrhages post childbirth leading to subsequent morbidity and mortality.”
Referring to the importance of the life-saving drug for young mothers and obstetricians, IMA also demanded the reconsideration of the government’s stance on the matter.
“Being a life-saving drug, Oxytocin is also provided to pregnant women during and post childbirth to control bleeding. Until now, most of the veterinary use is illegally imported from the neighbouring countries and IMA believes that by preventing its manufacture is not a logical solution,” read the press release issued by IMA.
Meanwhile, IMA Honorary Secretary General Dr RV Asokan accused KAPL of neither having experience nor the capacity to handle such a huge responsibility.
“As per the company’s record, any bulk production would take over four years, which raises questions whether a single public sector company is competent enough to supply to the needs of the entire nation,” he said.
He further said that IMA would hold the government responsible for shortages in Oxytocin and unfortunate consequences.
According to IMA, India accounts for 20 per cent of global maternal deaths with annual 56000 casualties annually. The latest data also suggest that Post Partum Haemorrhage (PPH) contributes to around 22% of the maternal mortality rate in India. (ANI)