The Nagaland State Pharmacy Council (NSPC) will soon approach the state government demanding immediate intervention of the Chief Minister and the Health Minister in putting an end to issuing drug licences to unqualified people to run pharmacies.
The council wants the government to cancel the licences given to unregistered pharmacists and shut down all the pharmacies run by non-pharmacists, said Dziesevotuo, president of NSPC.
He said the north eastern state has more than 3,000 community pharmacies, but there are only 550 registered pharmacists. About 2,500 medical shops are run by unqualified people.
“The Council wants to take legal steps against running pharmacies by non-pharmacists. Similarly we are against issuing drug licenses to unregistered pharmacists. The drugs control department is not efficient, consequently illegal activities are taking place in the pharmacy sector. The DC department is issuing licences to anybody who seeks to run a medical shop. Earlier, we have given a memorandum to the DC department asking them to stop issuing licences to unregistered people, but government is supporting the DC department. So, the council wants to approach the government directly for a concrete solution to this illegal act”, said the council president.
When asked if the government stops issuing licences to medical shops at the cause of shortage of registered pharmacists, he said as per drug laws only registered pharmacists can dispense medicines to patients. He said the registered pharmacists have qualified from nearby states like Assam and Tripura. Pharmacy profession is their job. So, the government should cancel the licences given to unqualified people.
The council office is working at the office of the registrar’s office, who is the chief pharmacist in a government hospital. Despite repeated requests to the government for a space for an independent office for NSPC, the government has not sanctioned any money or allotted any building for it. Either the government or the DC department has no interest to develop and strengthen pharmacy profession in Nagaland.
Dziesevotuo further said there are a lot of qualified pharmacists who have not renewed their registrations even after five years. The pharmacy council will submit a memorandum to the government requesting permission for appointing pharmacy inspectors. He said the DC department is not strong because its manpower is very poor. There are only seven drug inspectors in the state, he added.