Health ministry notifies final list of Schedule H with 536 drugs
Our Bureau, New Delhi

The Union Ministry of Health has notified the final list of revised Schedule H bringing 536 drugs under prescription category. The list contains 20 more drugs than that of the draft list notified last year. The new drugs that figure in the prescription category include Omeprazole, Ramipril HCI, Albendazol, Cetrizine, etc. Drugs like Nimesulide, Letrozole, Celecoxib, anti-retrovirals etc had all found place in the draft list itself.

The other newly listed drugs in addition to the 300 odd new ones that were listed in the draft notification are Vinblastin, Cisplastin, Levamesole, Tramadol, Doxorubicin, Fosfestril Na, Chlopheniramine, Paclitaxel, Fenbendazole, Tizanidine, Dextrpmethorphan, 5-Fluorouracil, Secnidazole, Dicyclomin, Vincristine and Methotrexate. The final notification was issued on March 16, 2006. There are about 200 drugs that continue in the prescription list even after the revision.

The comprehensive revision of Schedule H has come after a long period of 10 years, as the last revision took place in 1996. Hundreds of drugs that were introduced into the market as prescription drugs during this period have now been included in the list. However, the revised Schedule H list is not to have any impact on the marketing prospects of these drugs as they have always been "prescription drugs". These drugs were dispensed by retail chemists only on the production of the prescription of a registered medical practitioner. The drugs had been carrying the statutory information that "it has to be sold against prescription". After the inclusion in Schedule H, the same formulations would now have to carry "Rx" symbol conspicuously displayed on the left hand top corner of the label and should carry the following sentence "Schedule H drug - Warning: To be sold by retail on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner only."

Courtesy :
March, 2006

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