Amidst the nation-wide COVID scare, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the state on a PIL alleging that most of the Chemists and Druggists stores are run in the absence of a recognised Pharmacist, seeking the implementation of the various provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Pharmacy Act.
"Most of the medicines are supplied without interpreting the prescription of the Doctor by impersonating as a Pharmacist and endangering the health of the Patient", avers the letter by A. Seetharam Babu, a pharmacist by occupation, which was converted into a PIL by the Chief Justice-led bench.
The plea contends that the medicines are sold without implementing section 42 of the Pharmacy Act and Rule 65(1) and (2) framed under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act.
Section 42 mandates that no person other than a registered pharmacist shall compound, prepare, mix, or dispense any medicine on the prescription of a medical practitioner. Its contravention is punishable with imprisonment of upto 6 months and/or fine.
The aforesaid Rule stipulates the conditions of license of a drug store- Any drug shall, if compounded or made on the licensee's premises be compounded or made by or under the direct and personal supervision of a registered Pharmacist. The supply, otherwise than by way of wholesale dealing, of any drug supplied on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner shall be effected only by or under the personal supervision of a registered Pharmacist.
"Every licensed Pharmacist must report to their respective Drugs Inspector electronically either by taking a photo from the licensed store or sending the same along with the location by biometric reporting, as is being done at Ration Shop PDS, both log in and log out", points out the plea.
The petition prays for a direction to the Respondents to issue necessary orders for strict implementation of Rules regarding selling of H1 and other drugs only against prescription and also following the guidelines for preserving and forwarding the evidence to the concerned authority. Further, a direction is sought to the Drugs Inspectors to examine the record of the licensee as per Section 22 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
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