CDSCO to replace words ‘chemists & druggists’ with ‘pharmacists’

The Rule 65 (15)(b) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules refers to the retail pharmacists as druggists and chemists.

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The Central Drugs and Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) has prepared a draft notification replacing the words ‘chemists and druggists’ with ‘pharmacists’. The move comes in following several requests to this effect from Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association (KSRPA). The draft notification is currently pending with the ministry of health and family welfare. The replacement of the words chemists and druggists with pharmacist will be in Rule 65 (15)(b) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

In a communication to KSRPA president Ashok Swamy Heroor, CDSCO said that after examining the matter with the concerned division, the regulatory authority is directed to replace the words chemists and druggists with pharmacists. This would give better professional recognition to the chemists and druggists.

According to Heroor, there is considerable delay as the amendment is not considered for approval from concerned authority in a period of 11 months. We now urge the concerned department to amend the same immediately without delay.

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The Rule 65 (15)(b) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules refers to the retail pharmacists as druggists and chemists. The change is mandated by the Association as the word ‘Pharmacists’ gives an instant acknowledgment to the dedicated retail outlets vending medicines, Herror told Pharmabiz.

The name druggists and chemists was coined in 1945 and this has lost relevance over a span of 74 years in 2019. The present situation is quite different from what prevailed in 1945. The evolution of English language too has provided different meanings of these words. At present the word ‘drug’ is looked upon as more clandestine and as addiction for chemicals. Hence the expression just does not suit to refer a professional pharmacist, said Heroor in his communication to the Union minister for health and family welfare.

On the other hand, these days medical shops are popularly referred to as pharmacies. This word also conveys respect to the profession. Since retail medical business is more of a profession than a mere trade it should be rightly called as Pharmacy, he added.

Unfortunately, Rule 65 (15)(e) restricts the name only to a place where compounding of medicines are carried out. Moreover in the current scenario, the compounding of medicines by registered medical practitioners ceases to exist with a capable pharma industry in place in the country. There are also slew of regulations calling to prove the quality and efficacy of the drug. Therefore it would be more practical to rename the service of druggists and chemists as pharmacy, said Heroor.

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