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'Term ‘Medical Store' need to be deleted from D&C Act to end issue over presence of pharmacists in retail outlets'

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Thursday, February 20, 2014, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Arguing that it is an unwanted controversy whether the presence of a qualified pharmacist is required in a pharmacy, Dr Atmaram Pawar, president of IPA Pune and dean at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, said that the term, ‘Medical Store’ in the licence issued to the traders should be removed and the word ‘Pharmacy’ should be brought in place by amending the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Act.

Likewise, the role of pharmacist should also be changed from the term, ‘sale of medicines’ to ‘pharmacy practice’. Internationally, the term ‘pharmacy’ is used for the place where dispensing of medicines is held.

He said the traders are taking advantage of the term ‘medical store’ which is, as per the D&C Act is an outlet that does not require the services of a pharmacist. But, such stores cannot sell prescription drugs.

The D&C has categorized retail pharmacy business into ‘Medical Store’, ‘Chemists & Druggists’ and ‘Pharmacies’. The last two titles explain the need of registered pharmacists and the sale of drugs under the supervision of pharmacists. So, to put an end to all confusions, the term ‘Medical Store’ should be removed from the D&C Act.

As per the D&C Act 1940, pharmacist is required for retail sale of the medicines. Pharmacy Act 1948 explains the qualification of pharmacists. Though both the Acts mention about the presence of pharmacist in pharmacies, it is not implemented properly in India even after 60 years. This is one of the reasons responsible for different opinions and views against the pharmacists. The working of pharmacists will definitely promote safe use of drugs. A non-pharmacist cannot identify and report the adverse drug reactions, Dr Pawar told Pharmabiz.

Meanwhile, responding to the AICDF agitation against the mandatory presence of pharmacists in medical stores, the secretary general of the All India Drugs Control Officers Confederation (AIDCOC), Revi Udaybhaskar, said the proposed agitation is reactionary. He said both the regulators and the chemist fraternity are responsible for the current situation of the pharmacies in India where the drug legislations have miserably failed to make the presence of pharmacists in the retail pharmacies. He appealed to the leaders of AICDF to withdraw from the agitation and wanted them to issue bills on sale of drugs and raise the image of community pharmacies by employing pharmacists.


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RAVINDRA KAMBLE Feb 22, 2014 2:05 PM
PK JAGGI Feb 21, 2014 10:39 PM
Very balanced and informative article.
NiraJ Vyawahare Feb 21, 2014 9:12 AM
i am in agreement with Dr Pawar that we must do the necessary changes in the act to recognize the role of Pharmacist for the wqelfare of the society
Sanjay Sawant Feb 20, 2014 11:20 PM
I strongly endorse the views of Dr. Pawar. Irrational & wrong use of medicines is one of the major reasons of deaths across the world. If Pharmacies are not maintained by Pharmacists, death ratio would increase many folds. Therefore, medicines must be dispensed by Pharmacists only.
jainendra kumar jaiswal Feb 20, 2014 5:21 PM
if it happen it will a big relief to all retailer from officer

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