Fact Check | The truth about ‘ban’ on common-use drugs

Representational Image. Photo: Manorama Online

The Drugs Control Department of Kerala issues alerts against low-quality drugs. The ManoramaOnline Fact Check team received quite a number of queries (on the number 8129100164) to know the veracity of reports on certain drugs being subpar.

The investigation
People had sent in a list of 12 drugs, seeking to know the facts. The following was the message that people got: The Drugs Control Department has banned 12 drugs on the grounds of poor quality. The analysis was carried out at the labs of the department. The dealers and hospitals who had stocks of the below-said drugs should give it back to the stockists and furnish the details with the department. The name of the drug, name of manufacturer, batch number, date of manufacture, and date of expiry are as follows:

1. Aspirin Gastro Resistant Tablets IP 150 mg - Unicure India Ltd C-21, 22 & 23, Sector 3, Noida, District Gautam Budh Nagar, (UP) -201301 - APET934 - 02/2022 - 01/2024.
2. Paracetamol Tablets IP 500mg - GENO Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., KIADB, Honaga, Balagavi- 591113 - PP132043 - 05/2022 - 04/2026.
3. Paracetamol Tablets IP ( Paraband -500) - Danish Health Care (P) Ltd., 76/27-28, Industrial Estate, Maxi Road, Ujjain - 456 010 - PDN23006 - 01/2023 - 12/2024.
4. Tramadol Hydrochloride & Acetaminophen Tablets USP (ERADOL-P) - Jineka Healthcare Pvt. Ltd,15, Sec- 6B, IIE, Ranipur, Haridwar-249 403-(U K) - JT-2304286 - 04/2023 -03/2025.
5. Clopidogrel & Aspirin Capsules (75 Mg/150 mg) - Mascot Health Series Pvt. Ltd, PIot No: 79.80. Sector-6A. llE. Sidcul. Haridwar-249403 - MC221205 - 12/2022 - 11/2024.
6. Sevelamer Carbonate Tablets 400mg (Selamer-400) - Mascot Health Series Pvt. Ltd,Plot No.79,80.Sec-6A, IIE, SIDCUL, Haridwar-249 403. Utharakhand - MT226124B - 12/2022 – 11/2024.
7. Pantoprazole Gastro - Resistant Tablets I.P 40 mg (Pantop 40) - Aristo Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Plot Nos: 2040-46, N H 10, Bhagey Khola, P O Majhitar , East Sikkim -737136 - SPB230255 - 02/2023 - 07/2025.
8. Levocetirizine Hydrochloride and Montelukast Sodium Tablets I.P (UVNIL MONT) - Ravenbhel Healthcare Pvt Ltd.,16-17, EPIP, SIDCO, Kartholi, Bari Brahmana, Jammu-181133 - 249222004 - 09/2022 - 08/2024.
9. Methylprednisolone Tablets IP, Coelone-8 - Vapi Care Pharma Pvt. Ltd, Plot No. 225/3, GIDC, Near Morarji Circle, Vapi - 396195,Gujarat, India - VGT 220187 - 12/2022 - 11/2024.
10. Montelukast Sodium and Levocetirizine HCI IP Tablets (LEEVAZ-M) - Areete Life Science Pvt. Ltd, Plot No.5, Sri Sapthagiri Gardens, Kayarambedu, Guduvanchery-603202 - AT204G22 - 07/2022 - 06/2024.
11. Ibuprofen and Paracetamol Tablets IP (ALKEMFLAM) - Shiva Biogenetic Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, Village Manpura, Baddi, Dist.Solan(H.P) - 174101 - MT23004SL - 02/2023 - 01/2026.
12. Cilnidipine Tablets I.P 20mg - Unimarck Health Care Ltd, Plot No. 24,25,37, Sector 6A, SIDCUL, Haridwar - 249 403 , (Uttarakhand) - UGT22283 - 02/2022 – 01/2024. The list included commonly used drugs like Paracetamol, Pantoprazole, and Aspirin.

To ascertain the facts, our FactCheck team first visited the official website of the Kerala Drugs Control Department. We secured a report of the department with details of the drugs listed. The report had the following intro: The Drugs Control Department had conducted an analysis in its labs and the following drugs have been found subpar. All traders and hospitals in possession of these drugs should give it back to the stockists and report to the District Drugs Control office concerned.

For more clarity, we spoke to State Drugs Controller (in-charge) Dr K Sujith Kumar. He said the department conducted checks every month and the list doing the rounds was one such. Dr Sujith Kumar said the medicines in the batch (mentioned in the department’s notice) were the ones found deficient. He said the drugs in other batches of the same company are not harmful for use.

Fact check report
The department’s notice does not mean that all the drugs listed, including Paracetamol, are completely of inferior quality. Only those drugs manufactured in the particular batch should not be used. It is wrong and factually incorrect to say that these drugs have been banned.  

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