Six days on, Baddi firm’s licence cancelled for psychotropic taint : The Tribune India

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Six days on, Baddi firm’s licence cancelled for psychotropic taint

Six days on, Baddi firm’s licence cancelled for psychotropic taint


Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, May 15

Six days after the Punjab special task force (STF) raided Smilex Pharmachem Drug Industries, Baddi, for illegal diversion of psychotropic drugs to Punjab, officials of the Drugs Control Administration (DCA) has cancelled the product licence of all such drugs manufactured by them.

Confirming the news, State Drugs Controller (SDC) Manish Kapoor stated that since the company failed to respond to a three-day showcause notice issued to it after it was found violating the conditions of licence, its product licence and permissions to manufacture all drugs having a dual presence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act were cancelled.

The SDC was clearly caught napping when the Punjab’s STF unearthed large-scale diversion of psychotropic drugs for one year after raiding the unit on May 9. They had found records confirming the manufacture of 20 crore alprazolam tablets in just eight months. A cache of drugs was recovered from unlicensed premises in Punjab, following which they had initiated a probe.

The unit management had not disclosed details of its sales to the SDC as well as the Superintendent of Police (SP), in violation of the norms over the last one year. Following this, a showcause notice was issued to company by the SDC.

The unit, functional since 2018, was manufacturing four to five other products falling under the NDPS category.

Pharma experts say that in the absence of any nationwide survey to gauge an estimate of genuine users of these narcotic and psychotropic drugs, meant for therapeutic use, the pharmaceutical companies continue to upscale manufacturing to cater to its ever-increasing demand for recreational purposes.

Narcotics Control Bureau and the Central Bureau of Narcotics, Gwalior, which issues quota of psychotropic material, have also been apprised about the cancellation of its production licence.

Himachal Drug Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, suspended the primary membership of Smilex Pharmachem Drug Industries and its sister concern Biogenetic Drugs Private Limited, pending investigation. Association president Dr Rajesh Gupta requested all manufacturers to maintain proper records and ensure their timely verification.

Association’s treasurer Sanjay Sharma demanded that codeine-related products be banned in the state after cases of units misusing permissions for illegal sales surfaced.

Large-scale diversion

  • Punjab's STF had detected large-scale diversion of psychotropic drugs for the last one year after raiding the unit on May 9.
  • They had found records confirming manufacture of 20 crore alprazolam tablets in just eight months. A cache of drugs was recovered from unlicensed premises in Punjab following which they had initiated a probe.
  • The unit management had not disclosed details of its sales to the SDC as well as the Superintendent of Police (SP) in violation of the norms
  • There were about 135 pharmaceutical units having dual licence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well as Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in the state. Cases of more units bypassing the norm of not declaring the purchaser can't be ruled out given the high profit which the illegal sale of such drugs fetch

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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