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Country's first male contraceptive aborted

Amid conflicting reports regarding its safety, and allegations about vested interests, the much-hyped male contraceptive, Risug, has been abandoned by union health officials after its launch earlier this year

The country's first male contraceptive, Risug, has been prematurely aborted by the government, as the union health ministry claims that the contraceptive has triggered serious complications during phase-III trials.

J V R Prasada Rao, secretary, family welfare, said the ministry wants the project reviewed 'properly'. "There are reports of complications. Trace albumen has been found in the urine of those on whom the drug was tested... Scrotum swelling too has been reported. We want samples of 141 subjects, on whom clinical trials have been going on, re-examined," he said.

The ministry, however, has not provided any evidence of the occurrence of these side effects. Experts conducting the trials have reported no complications in any of the subjects.

Copies of the letters written by experts at the three Delhi hospitals where the trials are on, are with The Indian Express. The letters exonerate Risug beyond reasonable doubt.

Dr Gulshan Jit Singh, head of the surgery department, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, writes: "I have gone through the reports of the subjects and did not find significant albumen presence in the post-treatment urine samples. Also, their kidney function tests were within normal limits." Likewise, Dr D P C Toor of the Rural Medicare Society writes: "We have not come across a single case of albumen presence."

Source: The Indian Express, October 24, 2002