Govt set to bring Tramadol under NDPS Act

• The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has raised concerns about the abuse and trafficking of Tramadol, a painkiller and suggested that the availability of Tramadol be substantially reduced in order to track its movement in the market.

• It is proposed to bring Tramadol, a painkiller, under the ambit of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

=> Suggestions by NCB

• Manufacture Tramadol and codeine-based cough syrups in small batches to enable authorities to track the manufacturer.

• Verify the existence of sale premises before a licence is granted by the states and conduct surprise raids in this regard.

• All the state licensing authorities should re-consider proposal of reduction in batch size for manufacturing such drugs to control the diversion towards its abuse and misuse.

=> Background

• The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on the Directive Principles, contained in Article 47 of the Indian Constitution, which direct the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.

• The government’s policy on the subject which flows from this constitutional provision is also guided by the international conventions on the subject.

• India is a signatory to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Conventions on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.

=> About NCB

• The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is the nodal drug law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.

• The Director-General of NCB is an officer of the Indian Police Service(IPS) or the Indian Revenue Service(IRS).

• The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which came into effect from the 14th November 1985 made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.

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