Explained: What is Oxytocin and why does the govt want to ban its commercial use?

  1. The Supreme Court has referred the matter to a larger bench to decide on whether to impose a ban on private companies to manufacture the drug Oxytocin and restrict its manufacture to a single public sector undertaking.
  2. This decision comes after a petition was filed against government ban on private drug manufacturers from producing Oxytocin.
  3. Oxytocin also known as the ‘love hormone’ is a hormone secreted by the pituitary glands during sex, childbirth, lactation or social bonding. 
  4. However,it can also be chemically manufactured and sold by pharma companies for use during childbirth.It is administered either as an injection or a nasal solution.
  5. Oxytocin helps contract the uterus and induce delivery, control bleeding, and promote the release of breast milk.Its use is especially crucial to prevent new mothers from excessively bleeding after giving birth which is  a common cause of maternal deaths.
  6. However,the drug has been misused in the dairy industry where livestock is injected with Oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers.