Govt mulls special drive to enforce norms

Jammu, Oct 9: With frequent complaints pouring in against the absence of trained pharmacists in most of the medical stores in the city, the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DRO) has decided to ...

Jammu, Oct 9: With frequent complaints pouring in against the absence of trained pharmacists in most of the medical stores in the city, the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DRO) has decided to launch a special drive against such establishments.
 Sources said that under the rules, presence of qualified Pharmacists is necessary in the drug stores to ensure that wrong medicines are not provided to the consumers, but in certain cases it was found that the owners have employed non-technical people in their drugstores.
 Sources said that though officials claim that they have passed strict directions to the medical stores in the city to comply with the norms and are regularly conducting surprise checks.
 "But still at a number of such establishments the pharmacists are not available. As per the rules, those working in drug stores also have to wear apron and name plate, but that too is not being followed. It is very difficult for the people to identify a person at particular spot in case of any problem", said an official.
 Meanwhile, Health Department is contemplating to issue orders directing chemists across the State to install air conditioners (ACs) in case they handle drugs requiring specific temperature. Sources said that though this is not mandatory for the chemists, store owners should ensure that medicines to be kept at low temperature are stored appropriately.
 "We are not forcing anyone for the same, but our only concern is that medicines should be handled properly so that people don't have to suffer", said Satish Gupta, Controller, Drug and Food Control Organisation.
 Gupta said that though the condition of having air condition at the drugstore is not specified in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, they had taken the step to maintain the quality of drugs. However, under the existing provisions having refrigerator has been made mandatory for getting a new license or for its renewal, he added.
 Pertinently, Punjab Government had few years back issued an order making it necessary for chemists to have an AC installed at their establishments. Sources said that despite many measures taken by the organisation to ensure that quality drugs reach to the people, the absence of strong Drug Policy in the state was creating hindrance in the way.
 The policy when approved would equip the regulatory agencies with sufficient powers to deal with the sale and stocking of spurious drugs, a major menace in Jammu and Kashmir. The act will allow monitoring Pharma companies who are flooding the market with their products without any check or legal hassles.

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