MoEF&CC initiates ban on multidose vials of Diclofenac
In an effort to save the vultures from diclofenac induced deaths, The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change today after persistent demands from wildlife lovers have now requested the Ministry of Health to restrict the pack of Diclofenac for human use in single dose only and ban multidose vials of diclofenac. Earlier, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, published a Gazette notification no G.S.R 558 (E) dated 17th July, 2015, regarding the restriction on packaging of multi-dose vial of Diclofenac to single dose for human use. Even after banning the use of Diclofenac for veterinary use, the multi-dose vials available in the market for human use were widely misused for veterinary purpose. This, in turn, has a severe impact on the population of vultures.
Diclofenac is a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug for cattle. It doesn't harm cattle but causes death of vultures when they feed on the carcass of dead cattle by causing liver and kidney failures in vultures. In 2006, the Government of India had imposed a ban on the use of Diclofenac for treating cattle. However, people continued to treat cattle with diclofenac which were sold for humans. Hopefully the health ministry will undertake efforts to withdraw the multidose vials of diclofenac currently in the market.