Citing infrastructural and operational issues, the Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggists Association (MSCDA) has objected in establishing an online platform for pharmaceutical trade and online registration of pharmacies. MSCDA felt that the need is a full-proof system to render accountability to the exercise as the onus of public health is a multi-stakeholder responsibility involving physicians and government machinery.
MSCDA had formed a task force under its president Jagganath Shinde to seek suggestions on health ministry proposed online registration portal to ensure compliance.
It had issued a letter to all its district presidents, secretaries and office bearers seeking consultation on the same with reference to regulation of sale of drugs in the country. The suggestions should have reached the MSCDA latest by March 31, 2017 as per the letter. The Health Ministry had sought recommendations from the stakeholders by April 15, 2017.
“Among other contentitious issues raised are a proper infrastructure involving plugging loopholes in terms of internet connectivity and power breakdown in the remote parts of the country. Besides this, there is also a need to address the shortage of qualified doctors in the country who can write prescriptions in the interest of patient safety,” said Anil Navandar, Secretary, MSCDA.
As per the plan, all the manufacturers, stockists and retailers will be required to register themselves on the e-portal and enter data related to sale of drugs with batch number, quantity and expiry date. The data can be entered online through mobile phones also as per the government’s notice.
As per the notice, no retailer or e-pharmacy shall be permitted to sell any medicine/ drug unless it is registered with the e-portal. They are supposed to enter all the details of medicines and drugs sold, returned to the manufacturer or disposed in any manner.
No sale by e-pharmacy shall be permitted to be carried out by any person or entity unless it has a licenced brick and mortar facility in each of the Licencing Authority’s jurisdiction.
The notice further states that no dispensing/sale of drugs shall be permitted by any entity beyond the area for which a licence has been granted. Medicines other than drugs included in Schedule H, H1 and X will be dispensed or made available/distributed to any person only against prescription of a registered medical practitioner. However, in case of a few identified medicines, any other person specifically authorised (such as ASHA) to distribute a particular class of medicines may do so.
The details of medicines dispensed will be entered in the e-platform and bills will be generated through the system. Such details will include prescribing doctor’s registration number (MCI or State Medical Council or the Dental Council of India) or other authorised person’s identity number, the name and registration number of the dispensing chemist and the quantity supplied, etc.