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Antiviral drugs for treating Swine Flu will soon be available at a chemist shop near you, with the government relaxing norms on their availability. A recent directive by the Ministry of Health said 'Oseltamivir Phosphate' and 'Zanamivir' drugs have now been included in the Schedule H1 category of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Earlier, these drugs belonged to Schedule X category and were available in a restricted number of chemist shops. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had issued a notice earlier this year revoking its September 15, 2009, notification which had restricted the sale of these drugs for H1N1 as specified under Schedule X. Patients will now have to produce a medical prescription from a certified doctor to buy the drugs. Manufacturers of these drugs will have to submit to the DCGI a monthly statement of the quantity of medicines supplied to distributors, stockists, dealers etc. Besides, pharmacies will have to maintain the sale of such drugs in a separate register for three years.
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