The government has lifted the ban on Analgin (a brand of Metamizole Sodium) on March 19th 2014.
Analgin is a a pain-killer and anti-pyretic introduced in 1920. It is banned in more than 30 developed countries including the US which banned it in 1977. Even developing countries like Nepal have banned this product.
India had also banned the drug in June 2013 on the grounds of side-effects and the fact that there are safer drugs for the same purpose. The main concern was that analgin increased the risk of agranulocytosis which lowers white blood cell count thus weakening the immune system.
The Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) advised against revoking the ban subject to the mention of a disclaimer on the pack as well as promotional literature: “The drug is indicated for severe pain or pain due to tumor and also for bringing down temperature in refractory cases when other antipyretics fail to do so.”
The total market for Analgin in India is estimated to be around Rs 100 crores. This is mostly held by a few companies like Sanofi and Alkem as most others have already exited the market. However there are many smaller players and their market size is not reliably known. The drug is easy to manufacture and it is not under price control.