‘Medicines containing narcotic drugs misused in South Asia’

March 2nd, 2011 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) South Asia has become one of the main regions used by drug traffickers to obtain chemicals needed for the illicit manufacture of stimulants ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, according to the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) released Wednesday.

The report, released in Vienna, Austria, said pharmaceutical products containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are widely abused in South Asian countries.

“In Bangladesh, 18,600 ampoules containing buprenorphine, a painkiller, were seized in 2009 — a significant increase compared to 2006,” a statement released here said.

“India is one of the main sources of psychotropic substances sold through illegal Internet pharmacies,” the statement said.

The INCB is the independent monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations’ international drug control conventions.

“Indian law enforcement agencies seized 1.2 tonnes of ephedrine in 2009. Pseudoephedrine from India is also formed into tablets in Bangladesh before being sent to Central America and the Caribbean,” the report said.

India also increasingly uncovers facilities where drug methamphetamine destined for markets in other countries is illicitly manufactured.

The INCB has urged the government and industry to take action to prevent the diversion and use of medicines for the commission of drug-facilitated crime.

“Over recent years, INCB has repeatedly warned the international community about the misuse of drugs such as flunitrazepam for committing sexual assault,” it said.

“INCB has been increasingly concerned about the misuse of psychoactive substances for other drug-facilitated crimes such as robbery and ownership fraud,” it added.

INCB reminded governments of the need to remain vigilant in identifying and addressing new trends in the diversion of precursor chemicals intended to be used in the illicit manufacturing of drugs.

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