OTC sale of steroid creams banned

June 29, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

Health ministry brings 14 commonly used steroids under prescription drugs category

In light of reports showing widespread misuse of topical creams containing steroids, the government has prohibited the over-the-counter (OTC) sale of 14 commonly used creams and ointments that contain steroids.

Ministry of Health And Family Welfare brought them under the Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 through a recent gazette notification.

The Schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules,1945 is a category of prescription drugs in India. Drugs belonging to this class that cannot be purchased over the counter without the prescription of a qualified doctor.

According to the notification, the decision to put the 14 drugs under Schedule H has been taken after consultation with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board, which advises the health ministry on technical matters related to drugs and devices.

Dermatologists in India have brought to the notice of regulators, on several occasions, that pharmaceutical companies were selling steroid-based creams and ointments to patients directly. This leads to rampant use of steroids without medical guidance.

Steroids under the Schedule H

Alclometasone, Beclomethasone, Betamethasone, Desonide, Desoximetasone, Dexamethasone, Diflorasone diacetate, Fluocinonide, Fluocinolone acetonide, Halobetasol propionate, Halometasone, Methylprednisone, Prednicarbate, Triamcinolone acetonide.