Tamiflu to be sold in shops

Tamiflu to be sold in shops

Govt will give permission to 480 select retailers to sell it as a Schedule X drug

Close to 480 retail shops will be granted permission to sell Tamilflu as a Schedule X drug. A formal notification is expected on Tuesday, sources told Deccan Herald.

The sale of Schedule X drug is  governed by strict conditions, including  two sets of prescriptions from a doctor. In addition, a special licence is required for the distributor and retailer. Typically, psychotropic drugs are sold as Schedule X medicines.

While the patient keeps one prescription, the second set is handed over to the retailer who maintains a log book on the sale of schedule X medicines.

The log book is periodically checked by the narcotics authorities.

Only a handful of distributors and retailers — may be four to five retail shops in a metro city— have licences to sell schedule X drugs. Six companies—Ranbaxy, Roche, Hetero, Natco Pharma, Cipla and Strides Arcolab— manufacture Tamilflu in the country  
The Union health ministry is the sole procurer of Tamilflu now. It maintains a stockpile of 16 million drugs and despatches the medicine to various states depending on the requirements. The Centre had not released Tamiflu in the retail market so far apprehending its abuse which can lead to the H1N1 virus’ resistance to the medicine. If the virus returns in a virulent form in the winter, drug resistance will be a bane for thousands.

However, as the government has allowed private hospitals in managing H1N1 outbreak, there have been demands from the private sector to allow retail sale of a certain  quantity of Tamiflu for better availability of the drug.

Currently H1N1 patients —  even after being seen by doctors in private hospitals — have to go to a government hospital to collect the drug.

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