Rangareddy : Following a report regarding the alarming rise of substance abuse cases in Balapur mandal under Rangareddy district due to over the counter (OTC) sale of medicines, the officials from Drug Control Administration woke up from slumber and carried out inspections at over a dozen chemists shops on Saturday to ascertain violations of norms.

It is learned that a team of officials from Balapur, Hayathnagar, and Saroornagar led by Assistant Director Drug Control Administration Rangareddy district Anjum Abida went around the room to check irregularities being committed by the chemists in area like Pahadi Shareef, Shaheennagar and Jalpally under Rangareddy district.

During the inspection, the officials said, violations of norms like no pharmacists to address consumers, sale of medicines without prescription, and business without sale bills have been found.

Elaborating about the inspections, Ravi Kumar Vadthiya, the Drug Inspector Balapur, said “Inspections were carried out in 15 medical shops on Saturday wherein we have found several violations like no pharmacists, sale of medicines without prescription and business without sale bills.

“The drive against violations will continue, ” he said adding that “Show cause notices will be issued to errant pharmacists under Drugs and Cosmetic Act, and action will be taken accordingly.” Surprisingly, what is more contradicting is the assumptions of the officials regarding the volume of medical shops that exist in the Pahadi Shareef area.

While the officials are saying that there are 700 licensed shops in the entire Balapur Zone consisting of Abdullapur, Balapur and Ibrahimpatnam mandals, the ground reality of densely populated areas like Pahadi Shareef, Shaheen Nagar, Errakunta etc, under Balapur mandal alone pointing at nearly 250 shops.

“Hypothetically, there are 700 chemists in the entire Balapur zone, but we can’t surely say the exact number as the delimitation process is still underway. We would have more clear data once the data updation work completes,” the official said.

Apart from Assistant Director Anjum Abeda, Drug Inspectors Ravi Kumar Vadthiya, Laxmallah Raju, and Nagaraju took part in the drive.

However, the people term the DCA officials out of the blue inspections of medical shops as just eyewash to save their skin.

“The officials are fully aware of the shady trade practices adopted by some of the chemists in the area but turned a Nelson’s eye to allow them perform the business and make a killing at the expense of poor human lives. These officials will surely disappear after one or two days leaving the poor people to the tender mercies of the rough chemists,” said Abdul Bari, a community activist.