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IPC urges govt to ensure only registered pharmacists dispense drugs in all chemist shops

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC), the largest congregation of pharmacists and pharma professionals, has urged the union health ministry to make sure that registered pharmacists are present and they only dispense drugs in all the chemist shops across the county, thus implementing the laws in uniformity.

The 65th edition of the IPC, which concluded at Amity University, Noida near here on December 22 after three-days of intense deliberations and power-packed scientific sessions, said some states like Maharashtra, Goa and Tamil Nadu had taken the lead in this regard while it was blatantly violated in most of the other states.

“We urge the health ministry to take it up with all the states and agencies to make sure that the chemist shops do have registered pharmacists present all the time, in line with the laws under the Indian Pharmacy Act and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules,” said the resolution.

Speaking at the valedictory function as the chief guest, union minister for labour and highways Oscar Fernandes supported the demand and said he would take the lead to implement this resolution. “We have the largest network of ESI hospitals and I will see that the ESI hospitals would follow this rule. I will champion your cause,” said the minister who also holds the charge of ESI hospitals.

The minister also pointed out that pharma industry had made the country proud all over the world with its generic strides, especially in therapeutic areas like HIV where India supplies 80 per cent of the drugs to the world.

The resolution also pointed out that even the government dispensaries and even the district hospitals in the public sector did not follow the rules and did not have registered pharmacists. “The rule is only on the paper, and is not followed,” it said.

In another resolution, IPC recommended that the pharmacy education at all levels be brought under a single regulatory control and all powers should be vested with Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). It should have complete authority and accountability to improvise the educational standards at all levels. The dual control by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and PCI had led to mushrooming of colleges, deteriorating the quality of education, the resolution said.

The third resolution sought an amendment in Rules 71 (1) and 76 (1) under Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 according to which candidates possessing bachelors in pharmacy shall only be considered as expert technical staff in drug manufacturing and analysis.

The three-day event, involving over 4000 delegates from different areas from pharma industry to pharmacy, from academics to research, from sales to quality control, from pharmacovigilance to marketing, saw thought-provoking scientific sessions. As many as 79 speakers led the discourses, spread over symposia, plenary sessions, memorial lectures and panel discussions.

The next edition of the IPC will be held at Hyderabad and the All India Drug Control Officers’ Confederation (AIDCOC) will be the host association, it was announced at the event. The present edition was hosted by Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association (IPGA) and the theme for the conference was “Pharma Vision 2020: Empowering pharmacists”.

One of the major attractions of the meet was the job fair, first time held, for the pharmacy students. Organisers said as many as 20 topline companies interviewed and shortlisted large number of candidates who made a beeline before the pavilion.

The IPC also witnessed a successful Pharmaceutical expo, organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The expo, focusing on pharma plant and machinery, had nearly 200 exhibitors, including 15 companies from Germany, USA, Korea, Japan, China and Switzerland.


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