Oxytocin ban Drug makers report panic buying by hospitals

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MUMBAI: The government’s decision to restrict the production and sale of oxytocin, a crucial hormone used on pregnant women for the induction of labour and stall postpartum bleeding, has sent hospitals to a panic buying mode, industry executives said, even as at least one manufacturer has approached court seeking relief. 

On Wednesday, drug maker Mylan, which is one of the biggest manufacturers of oxytocin-based products, approached the Delhi High Court, challenging the order in June banning private companies from producing the drug starting September. 

Manufacturers are anticipating a shortage of the drug soon as some of them, including PfizerNSE 1.86 %, have already stopped producing it in India to comply with the ban order. 

A Pfizer executive said the company has seen a sudden spike in demand of the drug from hospitals as they fear a shortage. Industry executive said at least two large hospitals in the South have placed bulk orders for it early this week. 

“We have stopped the manufacturing of this formulation and expect to exhaust our finished inventory within the next 60 days,” a Pfizer spokesperson said. 

In an email response to ET, US drug maker Mylan said: “We have challenged the notification, issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Health and Family Welfare, placing restrictions on the manufacture and supply of oxytocin, before the Hon’ble Delhi HC and the matter is sub judice.”