PCI urges Centre not to allow unqualified pharmacy owners register with state pharmacy councils

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Central Committee meeting of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) held in Ootty unanimously passed a resolution opposing the demand raised by the All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD) to permit unqualified proprietors of medical store to dispense medicine.

PCI also decided to request the Central government not to consider the trade organisation’s demand for permitting the partners/ proprietors of a drug store as a qualified person to dispense medicines considering their experience. The Council felt that grant of registration for the traders with state pharmacy councils was against the Pharmacy Act and would create problems in the pharmacy profession.

The AIOCD had, earlier, approached the government with a request that the experienced traders engaged in retail drug sales should be allowed to register with the state pharmacy councils in order to dispense medicines. They wanted the government to amend Rule 65 (15) (C) of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules for the purpose.

Their argument was that all the pharmacies in India were not able to appoint qualified pharmacists in the medical stores as there was shortage of qualified pharmacists. So, considering the experience of the partners or the proprietors, the government should allow them to register with the state pharmacy councils as was allowed in certain cases before the Pharmacy Act came into being.

Seeking opinion of the Pharmacy Council of India, the union health ministry has forwarded the request of AIOCD to the PCI. The central committee of the Council held detailed discussion on the subject and reached the conclusion that the demand of the trade body was not acceptable. Further, it has decided to write to the union health ministry to reject the demand of the AIOCD, sources from the Council told Pharmabiz.

The Federation of Indian Pharmacists Organizations (FIPO) had earlier condemned the demand of the traders by arguing that the amendment of Rule 65(15) (C) of the D&C Rules would help only to do away with the compulsory requirement of pharmacist in each retail medicine shop. FIPO had also wanted the government to issue license to sale of drugs only to the registered pharmacists and a new legislation should be brought in this regard by specifying that only a qualified and registered pharmacist be given license for sale of drugs, and no one else.

Sources said the central committee meeting of the PCI took another decision with regard to the appointment of pharmacy inspectors in each state for which the Council will approach the government to make it mandatory in order to enforce Pharmacy Act strictly in the country.

Doctor of pharmacy Association had strongly opposed the demands of the AIOCD.