Health Ministry: Red band with warning on scheduled drugs mandatory

The health ministry has through a government notification issued on April 26, 2018 has sought to make changes on the printing of a medical strip which issue warnings for Schedule G , Schedule H, Schedule X, Schedule H1 prescription drugs. It will contain a red block with black letters stating the caution or warning. The new changes on these drugs will come into effect on November 01, 2018

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These new guidelines will have to followed by every drug manufacturing company. The central government had earlier invited objections and suggestions for the same on November 03, 2017.

In 2016, India’s drug industry has opposed the union health ministry’s proposal to make a red band mandatory with black letters on packaging labels of prescription-only drugs, claiming that this would increase manufacturing costs and pitching an alternative labelling plan. But now, the government has made it mandatory to have this printed on medical strips.

The proposal for the new red band comes amid growing concerns about the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria because of widespread abuse of antibiotics – by patients who consume antibiotics without consultations, by doctors who prescribe antibiotics when they are not needed.

The new warnings to be issued on medical strips are as follows:

Schedule G Prescription Drug – Caution

It is dangerous to take this preparation except under medical supervision

Schedule H Prescription Drug – Caution

Not to be sold by retail without the prescription of a Registered Medical Practioner

Schedule H Prescription Drug – Warning

To be sold by retail on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practioner only

Schedule X Prescription Drug – Warning

To be sold by retail on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practioner only

Schedule H1 Prescription Drug – Caution

− It is dangerous to take this preparation except in accordance with the medical advice.

− Not to be sold by retail without the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner.

Schedule H1 Prescription Drug – Caution

− It is dangerous to take this preparation except in accordance with the medical advice.

− Not to be sold by retail without the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner.

While Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Maharashtra Retail Dispensing Chemists Association President, Prasad Danave said, “The government was contemplating this for the past number of years. Now, they have made it mandatory to have a red band on all scheduled drugs. We welcome this decision. We have been asked to maintain the list of the scheduled drugs which we have sold.”

Kailash Tandel, President of the Maharashtra Registered Pharmacist Association said, “Sleeping pills and narcotic drugs will now have a warning or caution printed on them. This will help to create awareness in the minds of people who are buying these drugs. We welcome the decision taken by the health ministry.”

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