CDSCO asks Karnataka Drug Controller to take action against absent registered pharmacists
Requests to the state authority to examine the complaint and take stringent action as applicable under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940
In response to a letter sent by the Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Organisation (KSRPO) to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informing about the incidences of the absence of registered pharmacists at pharmacy outlets and bribe collection by officials of the drug control department, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has issued a letter to the Karnataka state drug controller instructing to examine the complaint.
The central authority has also asked the state authority to take the stringent action against the absence of the registered pharmacists at the pharmacy outlet.
A letter issued by Dr PBN Prasad, Joint Drug Controller (India) to the State Drug Controller of Karnataka communicated that the office has received a letter from the Drugs Regulation Section, Department of Health and Family Welfare highlighting that the association has noticed that Schedule H, H1, Hx drugs are sold at medical shops in the absence of registered pharmacists. After the receipt of the Karnataka State Pharmacy Council (KSPC) notice to registered pharmacists who are not physically present at medical shops, it requested the authority to take applicable actions defined in the law under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
It also communicated that action taken in the said matter should be reported to the CDSCO office on a priority.
Amaresh Tumbagi, Additional Drug Controller and Licensing Authority, Karnataka replied, “We will verify all the ingredients narrated in the complaint of Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Organisation forwarded by Joint Drugs Controller (I) and will take stringent action in accordance with the law.”
The association’s letter has significantly pointed out that in the state, many registered pharmacist lend the certificate for only Rs 2000 or Rs 3000 per month and it is for namesake as they work as AYUSH doctor, lecturer, medical representative, government pharmacist or other authorised employee at faraway places.
The letter also informed that after the receipt of KSPC notice, drug department officials do the inspection, find that registered pharmacists are absent since several years in the medical shops and suggest that the officer must prosecute the case in the courtroom.
“Therefore, the Drugs department officers are being advised to differentiate the new registered pharmacists instead of earlier pharmacists (who have received notice from KSPC). Because in some cases they cancel the license and give new license to avoid prosecution. However, if all the officers do the same then what is the punishment given to the chemists who violated the Act and Rules for several years. Whereas, officers must book the case against registered pharmacists with IPC sections,” stated the letter.
Commenting on the initiated steps by the Central authority, Ashokswamy Heroor, President, Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association said, “If the drugs department do not book the case against a pharmacist for a false affidavit, no one will give the importance to the affidavit. It has to be discussed with the law department, in the presence of drugs department officials whether prosecution made by the drugs department or by police is appropriate or not.”
He continued, “Number of registered pharmacists lend the certificate for only Rs 2000 or 3000 per month. It creates unemployment in the field of pharmacy. There is a need to fix the salary to the registered pharmacists where they are working at medical shops. And these points also need to be discussed with the Labour Department and Pharmacy Council of India. We have already filed the PIL regarding non-renewal of the Registered Pharmacists (yearly) and suggested that drugs license should be continued up to five years without yearly renewal of the concerned registered pharmacist of the medical shops.”
“Therefore, if the government fail to take action regarding the absence of the registered pharmacists at pharmacy outlets, we will file the writ petition in the High Court of Karnataka,” informed Heroor.