The Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association (KSRPA) has now called for a separate wing in the State Drug Control Department (DCD) Karnataka for exclusive control of veterinary drugs and a check on their selling prices.
In a letter written to the State Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and B Sriramulu the Minister for Health and Family Welfare of Karnataka, the association has cited the need for changes in the DCD functioning mechanism.
The letter stated, “The prime function of the DCD is to ensure that all drugs, including veterinary drugs, manufactured or sold in the state are of standard quality and also sold at the fixed fair price. Of late, the department officials seem to have forgotten about veterinary drugs completely. There are standing orders and elaborate guidelines, issued from time to time, as to the number of veterinary drugs to be tested, prices to be checked, cases to be booked, etc.
Due to the lack of supervision and with an ulterior motive, these guidelines are being neglected. The dumb animals cannot make any complaints. Many a new veterinary drug molecules have been introduced recently. Because of the increase in the poultry farms, dairy farms, fish and prawn farms, sheep and goat farms etc., the sales of veterinary drugs has also increased. Veterinary drugs of doubtful quality and many useless substances are sold as genuine veterinary drugs, at exorbitant prices.
The letter also highlighted that the dealers are minting money, illegally. Steroids and antibiotics are misused in poultry farming, causing adverse reactions in the ultimate consumers. The drugs inspectors are supposed to detect these offences and prosecute the offenders.
“The drugs control department of Karnataka has a glorious past and was rated the second-best in the entire country. The lost fame has to be regained and to improve the efficiency of the department certain steps need to be taken. In order to achieve this, on a priority basis, the department should set up a separate wing, exclusively for the control of veterinary drugs and check of selling prices,” expressed Ashokswamy Heroor, President, Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association.
He also suggested, “The previous departmental wings like the Blood Bank and Intelligence wing, the DPCO cell, etc., are defunct now. They may be reorganised as ‘Veterinary drugs wing’ “.
Besides this, the association also highlighted that the licensing power has been delegated to district level officers, i.e., additional drug controllers (ADCs), about two decades back. However, since then each ADC follows his own way of granting new licences. And licences are granted on a temporary basis as well to tin sheds, premises without door number or ward number, with only survey number etc. Also, such premises are not equipped with proper storage facilities like glass door cupboards, refrigerators of required capacity etc. Some licences have been granted even to premises which do not measure the minimum area fixed in rule number 64(2).
The association recommends that in order to stop these malpractices and prevent bribery, a joint inspection by the ADC and DDC should be made mandatory, before granting any new licence. Licences already illegally issued should be withdrawn immediately and disciplinary action should be taken against such erring licensing authorities.
The letter also mentioned that at the Divisional Offices of Mysuru, Gulbarga, Hubballi and Ballari, two ADCs have been designated as ADC Circle-1 and ADC Circle-2. This has resulted in jurisdictional conflict between them. In other divisional offices, like D.K, Belagavi, Davanagere and Tumkur, the two ADCs have designations like ADC-1 and ADC-2 (The word circle is absent). Therefore, the former four divisional office ADCs should be uniformly redesignated as ADC-1 and -2.
It also suggested that in every government department, there exists a committee called Vigilance committee or “Jagrit dal” to look into the complaints against officers. In the DCD, there is no such committee or a vigilance officer. The High Court has ordered that one such committee be set up, headed by the drugs controller, and this has to be complied with immediately.