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Immediate ban imposed on 328 drugs including Saridon, Panderm

Painkiller Saridon and Panderm skin cream have been included among 328 fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs banned by the government to stop their "irrational use". The government order will place an immediate ban on the manufacture, marketing, and sale of several common cough syrups, painkillers, and cold and flu drugs. India's drug advisory body, the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) said that the drugs must be banned as there is no therapeutic justification for their ingredients. An FDC drug is known to contain two or more active ingredients in a fixed dosage ratio. For example, an FDC in the banned list is called "naproxen plus paracetamol", which means that it's not the single drug but a combination of the two that has been considered unnecessary for consumption.

The health ministry said that the ingredients do not add to the benefits that people can get from taking them. The ministry imposed the ban after the DTAB said in a report that taking any of the 328 FDCs could put a person's health at risk.

The ban will cover popular cough syrups, pain killers, and medicines like Phensedyl, Saridon, and D'Cold Total.

The expert panel appointed to probe the effectiveness of 349 banned FDCs complied with the December 2017 judgement of the Supreme Court and submitted its report to the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) on July 25. After terming the drugs "irrational," the panel cited safety issues and a lack of therapeutic justification, recommended continuing the ban.

Deepnath Roychowdhury, President of the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association, said that the government order is bound to have an impact on the market estimated to be around Rs 16 billion a year for such drugs. Roychowdhury said that the order will be respected, Reuters reported.

A majority of Indian firms seem to have discontinued their FDCs or have little stock left with them, Dilip Shah from the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance told NDTV .

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