Surprise inspections by the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have revealed that out of 3460 inspected pharmacies in the state, as many as 277 pharmacies were functioning without pharmacists.
FDA officials said, stop sale instructions had been issued to 246 pharmacies of the erring pharmacies.
The remaining 31 pharmacies managed to bring their pharmacist at the shop before the inspection was over and hence no instructions were given to them.
The official explained that the stop sale instructions means the pharmacies will be shut till the further procedure and will be allowed to open, only after the due verification of the pharmacists who will be present in the pharmacy in future.
According to the FDA officials, the department had been receiving several complaints from all over the state that several pharmacies were functioning in the absence of pharmacists.
A functioning pharmacy without a pharmacist is a violation of established rules. The surprise inspections were held over a period of five days from September 13 to 20.
During this statewide campaign, a total of 3460 pharmacies were inspected and It was found that out of 3460 pharmacies 277 pharmacies were functioning without pharmacists.
“We have issued stop sale instructions to 246 pharmacies. All field officials has been directed to ensure that further strict action like cancellation of licensees shall be ensured in such cases,” said an official.
The FDA has asked pharmacies to ensure full compliance with the rules and regulations of licenses. Pharmacies have been asked to keep their shop close if they do not have a pharmacist.
FDA also requested all customers to report any complaint about pharmacist on the helpline number 1800 222 365 the local Jt. Commissioner/ Assistant Commissioner offices or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org