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Kerala Pharmacy Council urges pharmacist community to fight for presence of pharmacists on retail shops

Objecting to the stand of All India Chemists and Distributors Federation (AICDF) demanding pharmacies should be allowed to run without employing qualified pharmacists, the Kerala State Pharmacy Council has urged pharmacist community in the country to condemn the demand of the trade organisation and fight for the mandatory presence of qualified dispensers in retail shops.

The president of the Council, B Rajan, in an open letter to the pharmacists in the nation, said the traders’ demand is detrimental to the profession of pharmacy and added that their request to the government to drop the plan of amending Pharmacy Act 1948 for making presence of pharmacists in retail shops mandatory was off-putting.

“The demand of the AICDF cannot be entertained and if it is accepted it will collapse the health sector as the regulation of the pharmacy profession will be confined to persons with no qualification other than political allegiance. When the health sector of the country is fast developing at par with the progress in the western developed nations, ACDF is trying to block the growth of the pharmacy professionals in India. The pharmacy professionals in the country should recognize this and protest the unwanted demand of the traders”, he wanted the pharmacist community in the country.

The Kerala pharmacy council president wanted the Pharmacy Council of India to break the silence and fight for the dignity of the professionals and for the integrity of the profession.

While exhorting the pharmacists to take up the issue, Rajan said permitting persons other than pharmacists to dispense drugs is a violation of Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act which says that ‘drugs should be stored, handled and dispensed only by a qualified and registered pharmacist. The offenders are liable to be punished with imprisonment up to 6 months or a fine of Rs. 1000, or both’.

The Pharmacy Act emphasizes that registered pharmacist should only dispense medicine on a prescription of a registered medical practitioner. Entrusting of dispensing of drugs to layman will reduce the serious process of dispensing to mere selling of drugs as any other commodity. The poor patients will be deprived of getting awareness on the usage, side effects, proper dosage and the possible consequences in the event of discontinuance of the medicines that are dispensed to them. It will adversely affect their recovery from diseases.

Besides Pharmacy Act, the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, and Rules 1945 state that medicines should be imported, manufactured, stored and sold only by the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist. The Pharmacy Act was implemented not only in India but also in other countries in order to ensure the regulation of handling of medicines only by registered pharmacists and restrict the irrational and unintentional usage of medicines.

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2/28/2014 11:36:30 AM