Eligibility criteria for grant of wholesale and retail licences: Punjab

It mandates only registered pharmacists approved by state pharmacy council as the proprietors of wholesale and retail outlets

Pharmacist Medical Store
Picture: Wikimedia.org

Last Updated on July 22, 2021 by The Health Master

The Suvarna Karnataka Chemists and Distributors Association (SKCDA) has urged the state government to adopt the Punjab government model which mandates qualification and experience for proprietors of retail and wholesale pharmacy outlets along with stringent rules to stock and sell eight habit forming drugs.

The government of Punjab has now notified, vide Notification No.9/16/21-3H6/039 dated 25.03.2021 by Department of Health and Family Welfare (Health –VI Branch), eligibility criteria for grant of wholesale and retail licences by framing a policy.

It mandates only registered pharmacists approved by state pharmacy council as the proprietors of wholesale and retail outlets. For Diploma in Pharmacy (D Pharm), three years’ experience is needed to register as a proprietor and be the major partner.

Medical Store Pharmacy
Picture: Pixabay

For those with B Pharm, one year experience and M Pharm or higher qualification with no experience can be proprietors.

Those partnership firms having valid wholesale licenses for a 5-year period, now need to apply for a separate license after dissolving the existing license. Besides, there are specific conditions issued for grant and renewal of habit forming drugs which are misused as intoxicants under the Drugs & Cosmetic Rules 1945.

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It should provide, rights to the profession of pharmacist, professional retail chemist & wholesalers with technical qualification to safeguard and carry on their professional occupation, he added.

In the same manner, we call on the Karnataka government to make amendments under Article 19(6) as amended by the Punjab, Department of Health and Family Welfare vide Notification No. 9/16/21-3H6/039 dated 25.03.2021.

In a communication to the Karnataka government, V Harikrishnan, president, SKCDA and Bangalore District Chemists & Druggists Association (BDCDA) urged Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to issue similar directions at the earliest for framing a policy or guideline regarding grant/ retention of wholesale & retail sale drugs licenses, by amending the Karnataka Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution of India. 

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Here categories for wholesale drugs licenses can be given to C&F Agents/Company depot, super distributors, allopathic drug manufacturers, veterinary drugs, surgical masks, dental materials diagnostic kits and reagents and implants, he added.

The drug control department should further make it strict on sale of 8 habit forming drugs including pentazocine, nitrazepam, buprenorphine and their sales as oral solid dosage forms of tramadol and tapentadol.

The retail outlets stocking these drugs must submit monthly reports of sales and purchases to the licensing authority. Wholesale and C&F agents can keep 50,000 tablets or capsules with permission only.

Similar rules of qualification and experience is also mandated for all retail sales outlets in the state. However the retail licenses issued under Pradhan Mantri Bharitya Jan Aushadhi Yojna will be exempted from the purview of this policy.

The drugs control officers should verify the experience certificate with respect to the appointment letter, attendance record , salary record with minimum wages paid to the proposed competent person, as per the Punjab notification.

Such system is expected to put an end to irregularities in pharmacy trade and bring in much needed professionalism to the pharmacy trade practice which is the backbone of a patient care in the country, noted Harikrishnan.

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