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Health ministry to relax conditions on liquid antiseptics under Schedule K for limited period of time

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Friday, May 27, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union ministry of health and family welfare has issued a draft amendment to the rule by which liquid antiseptics for household use were brought under the Schedule K of Drugs Rules, 1945, to exempt it from certain condition till November 30, 2022.

The inclusion of liquid antiseptics under the Schedule K was subject four conditions - a) the drugs are manufactured by licensed manufacturers; b) the drugs do not contain any substance specified in Schedule G, H, H1, or X; c) the drugs are sold in the original unopened containers of the licensed manufacturer; and d) the drugs are purchased from a licensed wholesaler or a licensed manufacturer.

The draft amendment exempts the sellers from the fourth condition, by adding to it, “Provided that the condition (d) shall not be applicable for the drugs manufactured on or before November 30, 2022”.

The Ministry has issued a notice that the rules shall be taken into consideration on or after the expiry of a period of seven days from the date on which the Gazette of India with the draft notification is made available to the public. Objections and suggestions sent within the period will be considered by the Central Government.

The Ministry, through a final notification dated January 20, 2022, added liquid antiseptics for household use as the 39th entry in Schedule K under the Drugs Rules, 1945. The exemption is from the provisions mandating sale licenses in Form 20 or Form 20A, which is expected to make the use of liquid antiseptics more accessible to the consumer.

A draft amendment was issued in this regard in September, 2021, after the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), in June recommended the exemption of these products from sales licensing through including them in the Schedule K of drugs Rules.

The liquid antiseptics from companies including Reckitt Benckiser and ITC have been in high demand in the market after the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

However, even before this, the Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) in 2019 set up a sub-committee to decide on whether the liquid antiseptic in the market should be regulated with a sale license or brought under the Schedule K of the Rules.

The DCC in its 55th meeting held on January 31 and February 1, 2019, has constituted a sub-committee for clarification on exemption of Dettol antiseptic liquid (cloroxylenol, terpineol and alcohol) as antiseptic and disinfectant in the country under Schedule K (Rule 123) of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 and identify such similar type of products and give its recommendations.

The sub-committee was constituted under the chairmanship of N K Ahooja, Drugs Controller, Haryana. As per the terms of reference, the Sub-committee in its meeting held on July 26, 2019 invited the representatives from Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer of Dettol antiseptic liquid and ITC Limited, manufacturer of Savlon antiseptic liquid, both leading manufacturers for antiseptic liquids to offer their views.

After consideration of the available technical and legal information and detailed deliberations the sub-committee submitted its report for DCC review and deliberations. The DCC, after detailed deliberation, observed that there are numerous such products in the market which the sub-committee did not evaluate due to its specific mandate on three products only. Hence DCC suggested that the scope of the sub-committee shall be revised and broadened to relook the matter for examination of all the available liquid antiseptic solutions in the market.

Later, the matter came up for the approval of DTAB and it has recommended the inclusion of the product category under Schedule K for exemption. The drugs specified in Schedule K are exempted from the provisions of Chapter IV of the Act and Rules to the extent and subject to the conditions specified in that Schedule.

 

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