Chennai : After Kerala and Maharashtra, the Punjab State Pharmacy Council (PSPC) is planning to appoint pharmacy inspectors under Section 26 of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 to implement Section 42 to ensure presence of registered pharmacists in all pharmacies and to find out whether dispensing of medicines is carried out by unqualified people in any dispensing centre.
The council has invited applications from pharmacy professionals including pharmacy teachers and working pharmacists under the state government. In this regard, the council issued a circular recently, which is in circulation among all social media.
PSPC president Sushil Kumar Bansal told Pharmabiz that the process of appointment will be completed in the next two months and the pharmacy inspectors will start work from January 2023 onwards.
When asked, quoting some incidents happened in Kerala and in some other states earlier, whether the drug inspectors will support the initiative of the state pharmacy council in appointing pharmacy inspectors, Sushil Kumar said the state pharmacy council does not expect any such discouraging move from the enforcement officials as they are fully supporting the activities of the council. He expressed the hope that the chemists and druggists in the state would also welcome the decision of the council.
When Pharmabiz sought the opinion of the Punjab Chemist Association (PCA), the affiliate of AIOCD in the state, about the decision of the SPC, Gurbaksh Singh Chawla, the general secretary of the PCA said the decision was taken by the council with the consent of him too as he is also an elected member of the state pharmacy council. Pharmabiz has put the question to him in the backdrop of All Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association’s (AKCDA) attitude towards the decision of the Kerala SPC when it appointed 14 pharmacy inspectors in 2013. At that time, AKCDA had conducted protest march at the state capital and held agitations before the council asking it to withdraw the pharmacy inspectors. Finally the government had to withdraw the inspectors and now no inspector is in the field to check if Section 42 is properly implemented in the state.
As regards the qualifications of the pharmacy inspectors, the registrar of the Punjab SPC, Dr.Jasbir Singh, said the council has invited applications from working pharmacists and pharmacy teachers. However, preference will be given to post-graduates, but it is not a mandatory provision. He said proper implementation of Section 42 of the pharmacy act will be done in Punjab from 2023 onwards.
Kerala was the first state in the country that appointed pharmacy inspectors under section 26 to implement the section 42. When MNVG Adiyodi was the president of the council in 1996, he appointed three pharmacy inspectors as part of implementing section 42. Later when B Rajan became the president in 2012, his council took the decision to appoint pharmacy inspectors in all the 14 districts, but it did not last long because of stiff opposition from AKCDA and state drug inspectors.