Unable to control the sale of drugs without prescription and to bring some control over pharmacists, the state government has decided to come up with a rule book that will redefine rules that are currently laid through a central act, the ‘Drugs and Cosmetics Act’ devised in 1945. This will be framed by June 30, 2012.
“The demand for medicines is going up and there does not seem to be a way in which we can improve the functioning of chemist shops. We see so many chemist shops where medicines and cough syrup bottles are dispensed without a pharmacist around,” said Satej Patil, minister of state for home and food and drugs, who met the Medical Shops Association last week where the decision was taken.
According to Patil, the state government will put together its own rules. It will call for increasing the minimum shop space from 110 square feet to 220 square feet, as the number of medicines has increased and they need to be stored in a wider space.
It will also call for one or two pharmacists to be present at all times, depending on the size of the shop. The department will also make it compulsory for wholesale traders of cough syrups to sell them to retailers by giving a receipt to prevent misuse.
It has been observed that pharmacists get shop licences and work elsewhere, treating medical shops like a part-time business. This is not acceptable and since they need to dispense drugs themselves,” said Patil.