have shown their concern
following unexpected decision by the Government to suspend the sales of Pioglitazone
(pio). The Government suspended the manufacture, sale and distribution of pio
at the end of June citing the concerns for adverse effects, particularly,
bladder cancer according to a report published in BMJ. The doctors in the
country feel that it should not have been banned. India
In fact, unless a drug comes into the category of poison, no drug should be banned only because of some side effects.
In US the drug is still available with some warning. In
France, it was
banned three years ago and in
it has been suspended sales only for the new patients. In no other country it
is banned. Banning is always based in any country only on the basis of the data
of that country. In Germany ,
there are no reports that use of pio has caused bladder cancer. India
For most diabetologists, the news came as a shock as they were not taken into confidence.
I personally feel that when the Government decides to ban a particular drug, IMA, Specialty Organizations to which the drug belongs, MCI etc. should be taken into confidence.
The drug has been in Indian market for 12 years and has never shown any safety concerns. 3 million patients in
are on pio and in one stroke, the Government has asked them to stop the drug. India
Alternative is to shift to gliptins which are available at ten times the cost. Is it the gliptin market which has pressurized the Government to ban the pio.
Pio is more suited for Indians as it is the drug of choice for insulin resistance which is like an epidemic in Indian population.
, pio is used in lower doses
i.e. 7.15 to 15 mg which is not he case in Western countries. The Indian market
for pio as on today is 120 million $. India
The doctors are protesting and for now the Government has agreed to a meeting of technical experts to discuss the situation.
Hope the decision is reversed.