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Some of the Internationaly banned drugs but freely available in the Indian market


Some of the banned drugs known to have serious side-effects, are readily available in the Indian market. Merck announced a worldwide withdrawal of their molecule rofecoxib, branded as Vioxx. In India however the drug was sold with impunity, and despite the litigation, warnings and media coverage of the adverse affects of the drug, it continues to be sold.

Recently, in relation to the ban on Vioxx, the government issued an order to ban another Cox-2 drug, Valdecoxib. 

In the case of Vioxx, the drug is actually banned in India, but is being sold against the law. But, there are a number of other drugs that have got a red light in other countries, but are allowed to circulate freely in the Indian market with government approval. 


Process of banning

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) is the final authority on imposing a ban. An executive committee examines the harmful effects of the drugs and reports the results to the DTAB. If any drug is found to have harmful side-effects, the government issues the ban order and all manufacturers and wholesalers are asked not to stock the particular medicine. The DCGI notifies all state drug authorities, chemist associations and manufacturers about the ban on the drug. Authorities are instructed to carry out inspections. Licences of chemists stocking banned drugs can be revoked under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.


The following are few examples of banned drugs in abroad but freely available in the Indian market.


S.No Generic name Use Reason for ban Brand name(s)
1 Analgin Pain-killer Bone-marrow depression Novalgin, Baralgan
2 Cisapride Acidity, constipation Irregular heart beat Ciza, Syspride
3 Droperidol Anti-depressant Irregular heart beat Droperol
4 Furazolidone Anti-diarrhoeal Cancer Furoxone, Lomofen
5 Nimesulide Pain-killer, fever Liver failure Nise, Nimulid
6 Nitrofurazone Anti-bacterial cream Cancer Furacin, Emfurazone
7 Phenolphthalein Laxative Cancer Jetomisol-P
8 Phenylpropanolamine Cold & cough Stroke D'Cold, Vicks Action 500
9 Oxyphenbutazone NSAID Bone marrow depression Sioril
10 Piperazine Anti-worms Nerve damage Piperazine, Helmazan
11 Quiniodochlor Anti-diarrhoeal Damage to sight Enteroquinol
12 Rosiglitazone maleate Anti-diabetic liver failure, hepatitis, heart failure  Avandia
13 Cerivastatin Anti-hyperlipidemic  fatal rhabdomyolysis  Baycol

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