With reports doing rounds that the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) will support the proposal of All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), to conduct a short term refresher course for the unqualified persons to enable them work as pharmacists, the president of the PCI has clarified his stand that the Council will not in any way support the proposal, but stand by the statutory provisions in the Pharmacy Act and Drugs & Cosmetics Act.
“Speculations of support for the refresher course by PCI are far from truth and the Council has no such idea,” clarified Dr B Suresh Bhojraj, president of the PCI.
Responding to the issue after putting an end to all confusions, he said, with respect to the statutory provisions in the Pharmacy Act and D&C Act and also considering the public health aspect, the proposal made by AIOCD to the union government on November 5 will be rejected by the PCI. PCI stands for safeguarding the pharmacy profession and the pharmacy educational institutions. For regulating the profession of pharmacy, PCI has introduced the Pharmacy Practice Regulations 2015.
While interacting with Pharmabiz, he said currently there is no need of such a refresher course in India as there is no dearth of pharmacists in the country. As on today, the number of registered pharmacists in the country is approximately 10 lakhs and about one lakh pharmacists are coming out from various institutions every year. He said he was not deliberately silent on the issue, but was out of station.
“The Council has received the communication from the ministry of health and family welfare, asking for our views on the representation made by AIOCD in this regard. The said matter is not only violation of various prevailing laws of the country but also not necessitated due to two primary reasons. One is that there are enough qualified persons available in the country to meet the requirements and the second one is that the safety of patients and the safe use of medicines are of utmost importance. The same views were expressed to the ministry”.
Dr Suresh said PCI is responsible to get implemented the Section 42 of the pharmacy act by the governments and it will not allow a person other than a registered pharmacist to compound, prepare, mix, or dispense any medicine on the prescription of a medical practitioner. If any contravention on this provision is found, PCI will initiate strict action against the violators.
The Supreme Court of India directed the central and state controlling authorities to keep strict vigil to ensure that the necessary statutory requirements for running a medical store by qualified pharmacists are duly complied with, he said.