The Tamil Nadu State Pharmacy Council (TN PC) will soon approach the state government with a request for sanction to the state pharmacy council for taking steps to appoint pharmacy inspectors prior to the implementation of Pharmacy Practice Regulations (PPR) 2015 in the state, according to Prof Dr Chinnasamy, president of the council.
He said the next meeting of the Council, to be held probably in the first week of next month, will discuss the matter seriously and take suitable steps. According to Dr Chinnasamy, TN PC would like to appoint pharmacy inspectors in all the districts as part of implementing the pharmacy regulations which were already notified by the central government.
He was responding to the report of the state drugs control department that it had taken prosecution cases against 65 pharmacy owners in 2016-17 for selling drugs without the supervision of registered pharmacists. The DC department has prosecuted the pharmacies for violation of Rule 65 (2) of the drugs & cosmetics rules by the licensed pharmacy owners. There are more than 40,000 retail pharmacies operating in Tamil Nadu, but the drug regulators could detect only 65 retail outlets working without pharmacists.
In Tamil Nadu, despite repeated demands from pharmacist associations to implement Section 42 of the Pharmacy Act in the state, the state pharmacy council is not taking any step to implement the act. Under Section 26 A of the Pharmacy Act, the state pharmacy councils are empowered to appoint inspectors with the prior sanction of the state governments to ensure implementation of Section 42 and Chapter III, IV and V of the Act.
Pointing out the need of implementing PPR 2015, Dr Chinnasamy, who is one of the members of the executive committee of the PCI, said it is the duty of the PCI to implement the regulations all over India since it has become a law. The PCI has written to all the state governments to support the respective pharmacy councils to implement it.
When PPR was introduced in the country in January 2015, TN PC had taken some steps to get the support of the government for sanction to appoint pharmacy inspectors. But various associations of drug traders opposed the move of the council as they feared that if the pharmacy regulations were implemented strictly, majority of the pharmacy owners would have to withdraw from the field in the absence of pharmacy qualification. With this, the state council had stopped its move to go ahead with the PPR plan.
But, according to pharmacists associations, the drugs control department is trying to monopolise the entire pharmacy profession leaving the pharmacy council aside. Prof Chinnasamy said a change in the attitude of the government is expected in the near future and the pharmacy regulations will be implemented. He further said, he himself will bring this issue as a subject of discussion in the next council meeting.
In India, Kerala is the only state where the state pharmacy council has appointed pharmacy inspectors in all the districts. Even before the implementation of PPR 2015, KSPC had appointed pharmacy inspectors. Now, the pharmacy council has started continuing pharmacy education program for the registered pharmacists. The renewal of certificate registrations will be allowed only to those who attend two CPE programmes in a year, said B Rajan, president of Kerala Pharmacy Council.
In Tamil Nadu, the Pharmacy Act 1948 was implemented on April 15, 1950 through a government order dated April 5, 1950 and published in the government gazette dated April 11, 1950. Under section 19 of the Act, the government had constituted the state pharmacy council on September 15, 1954. But, so far the Council could not appoint even a single pharmacy inspector despite repeated representations to the government. The Council will complete a period of 63 years of its existence on September 15 this year.