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Pharmacists demand comprehensive reforms in Pharmacy Act to strengthen pharmacy profession

A Raju, Hyderabad
Monday, October 28, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The pharmacists in Andhra Pradesh have demanded comprehensive reforms in Pharmacy Act and demanded that the government should recognize professionals with Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) as primary healthcare providers in the state.

According to Amitav Joyprakash Choudhury, convenor IPR Yatra, the present Pharmacy Act must need amendments to give more weightage to the pharmacy profession. It needs to be amended to accommodate pharmacists which will further strengthen the profession. For instance professionals holding Pharm D degrees are not recognized as primary healthcare providers, while they have all the knowledge about the drug information and can treat basic illness.

Moreover they are most easily accessible in the community and spread public awareness and can be a part of administration of public and preventive health programmes and can carry out vaccination.

Highlighting various problems pertaining to Andhra Pradesh, experts in the field like Uday Bhaskar (AIDCOC); Dr P V Devan, president, Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS); G Dharma Data, Indian Pharmacists Graduate Association (IPGA); and Sai Kumar Katam, president, Doctor of Pharmacy Association expressed their concern and demanded the state and central governments should focus on accommodating more pharmacists into the healthcare sector and accordingly amend the Pharmacy Act.

They also demanded to the state government to immediately take steps to establish Drug Information Centre & Pharmacovigilance Centre in Andhra Pradesh, which would enable the common man to get easy knowledge about drug interaction, side effect, toxicity,  etc.

In addition to strict implementation of Drugs & Cosmetics Act-1940 and Rules 1945 and Pharmacy Act 1948 on the Drug Stores, the pharmacists in the state have also demanded stopping of sale of Schedule H without prescription, Prescriptions of Quacks (RMP) should not be honoured by the retail chemists, establishment of full-fledged National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER) in Hyderabad and appointment of a full time Director.

The state pharmacy associations and pharmacy professionals have demanded immediate elections to the Pharmacy Council of Andhra Pradesh and all pharmacist registrations should be online and continuing education programme should be conducted.

Among other demands, the pharmacists in the state have asked the government to create a separate Directorate of Pharmacy in the medical and health department and reconstitute Pharmacists as Director Pharmacy, Deputy Director (Admin), Deputy Director (purchase), Officer in charge pharmacy and Chief pharmacists in each hospital in every district.

Referring to appointments, they have also demanded that the state government should fill up all the vacant posts of pharmacists in NRHM/PHC/CHC, district hospitals and teaching hospitals.

According Uday Bhaskar, secretary general, All India Drugs Control Officers Confederation (AIDCOC), the central government should come out with a comprehensive draft to not only strengthen Pharmacy Act in the country but should also take steps to further strengthen the drug control administration in the states. The central government’s recent move to establish Central Drug Authority (CDA) serves no purpose except centralizing the power and creating more hurdles and delays in the drug administration.


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