Rajahmundry: The drugs control authorities plan to take up a special drive and inspect pharmacies to check violation of norms in East Godavari soon.
Some pharmacies attached to hospitals and even independent ones have been found selling Scheduled-H drugs in the absence of a pharmacist, not asking for doctor’s prescription and also failing to issue bills after sale.
In many cases, pharmacies attached to hospitals are run by the kin of the doctors who do not have basic knowledge of drugs as licence for such pharmacies is obtained in the name of a pharmacist. In some cases, licence is obtained to set up a pharmacy on the condition that a pharmacist will be appointed to run it. In a few cases, neither the proprietor nor the operator has any knowledge of drugs but still procure and sell them illegally.
Drugs in pharma shops beside busy roads gather dust, which is cleaned only when the customer or patient insists on it. A few drugs are supposed to be stored in refrigerators at a certain temperature. Some pharmacies switch off the refrigerators in the night while closing the shop to save on power bills.
This can result in the drugs getting spoilt due to high temperatures. A few other pharmacies stock physician samples of drugs in a large quantity and sell them to the patients.
This is done with many habit forming drugs which are sold without asking for a prescription by the doctor. In case of chain drug stores, a number of pharma aides are hired to sell drugs across the counters as they can be hired for less wages when compared with pharmacists.
As per norms, the pharma aides are not supposed to sell drugs across the counter as they are meant to assist the pharmacists, but in reality, they will be handling most of the business for the day.
These aides having less knowledge on pharmaceuticals, rely on software application on computers, type the name of the drug for sale and accordingly, sell it to the patients.
They hardly know anything about the composition of the drug or alternate drug that can be used, in case some patients seek help in that area.
East Godavari drugs control administration assistant director T.S.R. Murthy said, “We will take up a special drive on pharmacies to ensure that they are run as per norms.
We will also hold an awareness meeting to the in-charges of chain drug stores to drive home the message that they should not flout norms. Our drug inspectors are carrying out inspection and booking cases and we will intensify the exercise.”