The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has urged the Jharkhand government to recall its decision of granting permission for opening pharmacies in rural areas without registered pharmacists.
In a letter written to the chief secretary and to the principal secretary of the health department marking copy to the state chief minister, the president of the PCI, Dr. Montu Kumar Patel, has said that the decision of the district administration is a blatant violation of Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act 1948 and regulation of the Pharmacy Practice Regulations 2015.
"I request you to recall/withdraw the recent notification of your district administration of East Singhbhum district dated 13-06-2023 and implement Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015 in Jharkhand in public interest," he said.
Recently, the Chief minister of Jharkhand had announced that pharmacy education is not required to start a pharmacy in the state of Jharkhand and those who are educated enough to read and write the name and composition of the medicine written on the boxes can start a medical store in the state.
"The PCI is a statutory body under the Ministry of Health, Government of India and reserves the right to protect the Pharmacy Act, 1948. It is empowered to regulate the standards of pharmacy education across the country to meet contemporary health challenges; and to regulate the profession, its practice in most desirable way to improve the therapeutic outcome and quality of life along with maintaining the whereabouts of registered pharmacists who practice this profession under ethical bindings," Dr Patel stated.
"Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act states that “no person other than a registered pharmacist shall compound, prepare, mix, or dispense any medicine on the prescription of the medical practitioner and whosoever contravenes it, is liable for a punishment for six months, or with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or with both”, he noted.
"Drugs and medical devices are essential and special commodities. Their handling by an unqualified person will ignite the possibility of misuse, irrational use and wrong dispensing and will be detrimental to public health," Dr Patel said in the letter.