Gauhati HC Halts Assam Govt’s Pharmacy Regulations

Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court has imposed a temporary stay on the Assam government’s regulations on pharmacy education. These regulations included a mandatory exit exam for pharmacy graduates from private universities and non-affiliated institutions before they could be licensed as pharmacists.

The court’s decision stemmed from a petition filed by Girijananda Chowdhury University.

Gauhati High Court judge Justice N Unni Krishnan Nair, presiding over the case, raised doubts about the Assam government’s authority to regulate the pharmacy profession based on a preliminary review of the Pharmacy Act 1948.

A crucial aspect of the court’s concern was the absence of any mention regarding approval from the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) in the government notification, which is a mandatory requirement for such regulations.

The High court stayed the Assam government‘s notification outlining regulations for pharmacy education and practice is on hold until the court reaches a final decision.

The court has also postponed the exit exam scheduled for April 21 to assess graduates from private universities and non-affiliated institutions.

The court further said that Pharmacy graduates can register with the Assam Pharmacy Council upon completion of their courses. However, the council will conduct verification to ensure the programs meet the guidelines set by the Pharmacy Council of India.

Students enrolled in Diploma in Pharmacy programs before the 2022-23 academic session can obtain provisional registration after the Assam Pharmacy Council verifies their educational qualifications, the court mentioned in the order.

According to the order, students who entered Diploma in Pharmacy programs during the 2022-23 academic sessions will need to pass the exit exam mandated by the Pharmacy Council of India to become registered pharmacists.

It’s important to note that the court order doesn’t prevent the Pharmacy Council of India from conducting their scheduled exit exam.

The next hearing for this case is scheduled for May 15th, 2024.

The High Court has directed the Assam government to file their response by May 13th.

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