- To prevent indiscriminate sale of topical preparations containing steroids and antibiotics without prescription, the Health Ministry has banned over-the-counter sale of around 14 such creams.
- The Ministry has put 14 steroid-based creams and ointments under the Schedule H category by making amendments to certain Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
- The decision was taken following consultation with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board which had recommended a ban on the sale of such creams without prescription and had also submitted their recommendations to the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation.
- The move comes after dermatologists complained that pharmaceutical companies were selling steroid-based creams and ointments to patients who use them without medical guidance.
- The revised rules will apply to skin creams that contain steroids or other prescription drugs and not for ordinary face-cleansing and moisturisers.
- The creams which have been banned are alclometasone, beclomethasone, desonide, desoximetasone and flucinonide among others.