Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorities in a major drive carried out in September issued stop-sale-of-drugs notice to as many as 374 chemists in Pune division for failing to appoint pharmacists to dispense medicines. Of the 138 retail medical stores whose licences have
been cancelled,101 are based in Pune district.
The drive was intensified in all the districts Pune,Solapur,Satara,Sangli and Kolhapur under Pune division in September. B R Masaal,Joint Commissioner (drugs),FDA told Newsline that since April as many as 3,719 retail medical stores have been inspected.
FDA authorities and chemists have been at loggerheads ever since the former launched a stringent drive ensuring presence of pharmacists in stores to dispense medicines. While chemists cite lack of qualified pharmacists,FDA authorities have made it clear the rules have to be followed as they are dealing with peoples lives.
According to Masaal,as many as 746 showcause notices were issued between April and September. While 138 licences of retail medical stores were cancelled,93 were suspended,he added.
Our inspection teams try to ensure a qualified pharmacist is present at a retail medical store when drugs are being dispensed. We also check prescriptions and bills, said Masaal.
In Pune district,as many as 101 medical store licences have been cancelled while 250 stores have been given stop-sale-of-drugs notices.
Our teams inspected 1,742 retail medical stores and showcause notices were issued to 337 stores. Of this,the 24 medical stores have been suspended. However,a majority of chemists have filed appeals with the licence authorities at each of the four zones in Pune. The process takes over a month after which the state FDA minister calls a hearing to decide on the appeals,he added.