Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 5:
The unusual demand for injectable antipsychotics in Odisha points towards drug abuse and a trafficking network active in the state.
A multinational company manufacturing the injectable drug used as sedative or tranquilizer has reported the atypical demand for the drug, which is 10 times the normal requirement, to the Utkal Chemist and Druggist Association (UCDA).
As per reports, druggists from Bhadrak, Baleswar, Brahmapur and Bhubaneswar have placed orders for over 1.75 lakh ampoules of this sedative produced by an MNC.
“Around 90, 000 ampoules of sedatives of a particular brand have been sent to Baleswar, 32, 000 to Bhadrak, 45, 000 to Balugaon/Brahmapur and 8, 000 to Bhubaneswar, in the last six months. While the normal requirement was between 10 and 20, 000 during this period last year, the demand has witnessed around 10 fold growth this year. It indicates that addicts are abusing this drug, which is being routed to Vizag and Cochin through Odisha. From there, it is being smuggled to Nigeria, Nairobi and other African countries,” Utkal Chemist and Druggist Association (UCDA) General Secretary Chaudhury Prabir Kumar Das said.
After unexpected demand for the drug in the state, the producing company had reported this to UCDA which in turn has intimated this to the state drug controller. However, the state government hasn’t initiated any step yet to put a check on this.
The association, however, has taken suo motu decision to crack down on the druggists from October 2.
“We have begun investigation into the matter and initiated action against the druggists who have ordered huge quantities of these drugs in Baleswar. Similar action would be taken against those who would import large quantities of sedatives in future,” Das added.
Notably, these prescription drugs are used by patients suffering from psychological disorders, cancer and post-operative care of patients.