Mumbai: In another step to curb spurious drug flow, the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) has now instructed its regional officers to submit reports on chemist shops displaying discount boards for attracting customers to the state pharmacy council. The move comes close on the heels of directing pharmacists to maintain a daily record of drugs.
“Any registered pharmacist through the temptation of discount cannot attract consumers. The practice is in violation of the Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015, and is unethical. It is a violation of chapter 7 and section 12.2 of the pharmacy rules,” said FDA joint commissioner Bhushan Patil. During routine inspections of drug stores, drug inspectors should record the violation in their inspection reports. The details of such chemist shops and registered pharmacists should be sent to the Maharashtra State Pharmacy Council for further action, Patil directed in a letter.
Chemists cannot display discount placards
Nitin Maniyar, member of the Maharashtra State Pharmaceutical Association and Honorary Secretary of the Mumbai Retail and Dispensing Chemists Association, said “The medicines or drugs are not commodities, they are life-saving drugs so chemists should not display discount placards. Moreover, there is a surge of spurious drugs in the market and there are people who take advantage of it and sell it to customers by giving discounts.”
FDA to inspect all chemist shops
A senior FDA official said they will be inspecting all the chemist shops and reports will be sent accordingly. “We have been asked to inspect and submit reports, while action will be taken by the state pharmacy council. Chemists should refrain from displaying discounts flex in the interest of the public,” he said.
Health experts asserted that the FDA should act steadfastly to prevent spurious drugs from flooding the market. “We have been talking about the issue with the state government to take stringent actions against chemists shops who have been violating the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, and Pharmacy Practicing Regulations,” they said. The profit margin and deep discounts offered by such drug stores raises questions over the quality of drugs. It is not possible to give heavy discounts on medicines and run the drug stores ethically, underscored experts.