Following complaints from various corners, the drugs control department in Odisha has started surprise raids on major private hospital pharmacies for not complying with Rule 64 and 65 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945.
Actions were taken as per Rule 66 for contravention of rules, and licences of six pharmacies were suspended. The drugs control office has informed that most of the hospital pharmacies in the state are functioning without registered pharmacists and violating Rule 64 and 65 of the D&C Rules.
According to Mamina Patnaik, drugs controller of Odisha, licences of six major hospital pharmacies were suspended and one pharmacy was sealed. On account of patients’ health all the selling points in the hospitals were not closed or sealed altogether, but actions were taken as per law for want of competent persons in the dispensing counters.
Although this law enforcing raids were carried out in Bhubaneswar and in Cuttack on priority basis, the operations will continue in the months ahead by expanding it to other districts.
Responding to queries, the Drugs Controller said the department is strict in initiating action against violation of D&C Act and Rules by hospitals and it has been made mandatory that all the hospital pharmacies should ensure presence of registered pharmacists (competent persons) in the 24 hour functioning OP counter, IP counter and central stores of the hospitals. The hospitals have to comply with the conditions of licences (Rule 64) and ensure dispensing by registered pharmacists (Rule 65). Schedule H and H1 drugs should be allowed to dispense to patients by competent persons only, said the DC.
“Sale and stocking licences given to some hospitals were suspended after the raid and reports were given to the government. Licence of Kalinga Hospital’s pharmacy is in the list of suspended licences. In Bhubaneswar raids were conducted in Appollo Hospitals, AMRI Hospitals and CARE Hospitals. Three hospitals were raided in Cuttack city. One of the suspended licences was renewed two days ago. When our inspectors visited the pharmacies in these hospitals, they could not see the competent persons (pharmacists) either in the dispensing counters or in the central stores. It is mandatory that a 24 hour pharmacy should have minimum three registered pharmacists”, Mamina said.
In Odisha, there has been complaint of lack of pharmacists in community pharmacies and it is alleged that 90 per cent of the total 18,000 retail medical shops in the state are not implementing the mandatory requirement of registered pharmacists. For getting licence to open medical stores, the shop owners produce certificates of pharmacists along with their applications. But, they are reluctant to engage competent persons to dispense drugs in the shops. Besides, most of the registered pharmacists are not interested to work for meager amount of salaries. Instead they rent out their registration certificates to the medical stores and prefer to work in industry or institutions or in some CROs. The drugs control department has now decided to crackdown on these medical shops across the state.