Combination of drugs comes under scanner

Published Nov 15, 2013, 2:09 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 6:20 pm IST
The six-dose combinations prescribed for pain, cough, cold, arthritis, diabetes.

Hyderabad: The six-dose combinations prescribed for pain, cough, cold, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle diseases are proving to be harmful to the human body.

While these are separate pills, given in combinations of three to four tablets, the existence of one, two or six different set of drugs in the same set of medicines, means double amount of drugs in the body. Like in case of diabetes, in some patients doctors have to prescribe a set of different combinations where some drugs are in dual forms and create harm as well as resistance in the body.


A senior drug inspector explained that the exercise was started because of too much of medication and over-the-counter abuse which was creating a major resistance towards existing drugs. In the case of hypertension, apart from one medicine, there are two combinations prescribed for blood pressure and also lowering of lipids. Sometimes, patients use them self-prescribed and there is no control on them.

The increasing non-compliance has forced Union ministry of Health to seek an expert review to study the efficiency of 60,000 drugs presently in the market. A senior drug officer in Hyderabad said, “The approvals are based on the combinations and its effect on the disease.

There is no proper policy in place which checks and re-checks the efficiency of drugs. Due to these reasons Professor Ranjit Roy Chowdhary committee was formed by the health ministry as it was felt that there has to be some regularisation of medicines that float in the market.”

The re-thinking is a very cumbersome task as up to 60,000 drugs are going to come up for scrutiny. The committee has a team of doctors, pharmacists and government drug regulators who will study the various drugs and then recommend to the government the methods of phasing out.

Drugs for anti-TB, anti-leprosy and oral contraceptives are not included in this category. A senior officer said, “If this committee is able to push through then a lot of irregularities in terms of over-the-counter sale and others can also be curbed.”

Location: Andhra Pradesh