Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare bans sale of Diclofenac in multidose vial
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has banned the sale of Diclofenac in multidose vial. Henceforth, it will be sold only in single-dose vial packaging for human use.
This ban was imposed on recommendation of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in order to save and protect vultures from brink of extinction.
In this regard, MoEFCC has published an official Gazette notification no G.S.R 558 (E) dated 17th July, 2015, banning packaging of multi-dose vial of Diclofenac.
Diclofenac and Vulture extinction
- Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is administered as painkiller to cattle, is the chief cause of mass extinction of vultures.
- Vultures have a robust digestive system which can even digest disease-causing pathogens found in rotting meat of dead. But they do not have a critical enzyme that breaks down diclofenac and die of renal failure after eating carcasses of cattle administered the drug.
- Vultures feeding on cattle having traces of diclofenac either die from acute kidney failure within a few days or lose their ability to reproduce.
- In 2006, India had banned the use of veterinary drug Diclofenac for treating cattle. But the multi-dose vials available in the market for human use were widely misused for veterinary purpose.