Recent pilot surveys by our team indicated a significant lack of awareness as well as rampant malpractice among stakeholders with respect to the veterinary use of (banned) diclofenac in Pune district, Maharashtra. Typical issues reported were :
- Lack of knowledge on the ban on veterinary use of diclofenac.
- Unrestricted over the counter sale of diclofenac for veterinary use.
- Easy access to human formulations of diclofenac for veterinary use.
These issues were raised with senior forest officers. In response to the concern raised by the Principal Secretary of Forests (Maharashtra), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Maharashtra, issued an order regarding the actions needed to reduce veterinary diclofenac malpractices. We believe this is a significant step forward in enforcing the drug ban.
The following key points have been emphasized in the letter issued by FDA:
- Regular market surveys related to veterinary use of diclofenac.
- Separate monthly reporting of the same from Feb 2013.
- Stringent actions against the guilty.
We believe that this will enhance monitoring of malpractices with respect to veterinary use of diclofenac. This will also increase awareness among all the regional FDA officers and inspectors who are key resources to address these issues. Thanks to awareness of this order created by the media, the issue will reach the public. The order will also form a strong base for any legal handling against diclofenac. Conservationists can put it to use to defend any violations. Further, Maharashtra can guide other states to implement the same.
Click on the top right download link to view the order in Marathi as well as its English translation.