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Vijayagadhi, December 19 (Reuters) – India’s government has banned the use of synthetic drugs in the face and neck region for a period of five years, after the first patient died of a drug-induced infection.
The ban is due to be in place in the coming months, said the health ministry in a statement on Sunday, but it did not specify the period.
The government said the ban would not apply to existing treatments or the use by the government of the synthetic drugs.
India has the world’s third-largest number of transplants, with 1.6 million patients in the country, and the latest cases were announced on Thursday, when a patient died in India after suffering an infection linked to a synthetic drug.
The Indian Medical Association has criticised the decision, saying it was too quick.
“The ban on synthetic drugs is the right thing to do as it is a step towards protecting the public,” said Dr Ramesh Parekh, who heads the AMA’s medical committee on synthetic drug use.
He said the government was also taking steps to regulate the sale of synthetic drug products.
The use of the drugs, such as methylphenidate and methylpropanolamine, has increased dramatically in India, where they are commonly used for anxiety, attention-deficit and attention-seeking disorders.