GSK Pharma on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of renitidine hydrochloride (Zinetac) tablets from markets around the world including India. This drug is used for acidity. GSK has decided to withdraw it from the market as a precautionary measure after reports of drug companies in the United States finding cancer-causing substances in some companies’ renitidine drugs.
US drug regulator US FDA says that different companies are selling different types of brand names of ranitidine drugs. Some of those cancers have been found to be defective. After this news, the Controller General of India has also awakened. The DGCIA told the state drug regulator that all pharma companies should be instructed to check their own renitidine tablets.
Renitidine is used worldwide for acidity. The World Health Organization (WHO) has put this drug in the list of essential medicines. GlaxoSmithKline in India, JB Chemicals, Cadilla Pharma, Zydus Cadila, Drs.Reddy and Sun Pharma produce Renitidine tablets with about 180 brand names. These include well-known brands such as Aceloc, Pentech, Renatech, Zinetac. However, no Indian brand of renitidine drug has been found to contain cancer-causing impurities so far.
Renitidine drugs are available in many formulations. It is available in both tablet and injection forms. The annual turnover of ranitidine drugs in India is around Rs 700 crore. Last year, regulators in the US and Europe said they had received NDM in the brand Renitidine. They are now investigating further. The advisory may also be made public on its use in the coming days. An official of the Government of India, who has information on the matter, said that the situation was being monitored. There is no need for people to get serious right now. The government will take appropriate steps in this regard at the right time.
Indian Expert says renitidine is considered to be safer than other drugs used to disperse gas. It is also used in the treatment of acidity and upper intestinal ulcers. Patients facing kidney problems are also given the option of renitidine for gas treatment.