Around 754 Fake pharmacies in Assam under government scanner

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Around 754 Fake pharmacies in Assam under government scanner

Saumya Mishra | November 24, 2018 16:18 hrs

GUWAHATI: The Assam Pharmacy Council (APC) has tightened the noose around fake pharmacies in Guwahati as well as the entire state.

The council has kept an eye on errant pharmacists who are operating without proper documents and qualifications. 
  
Officials informed that there are close to 900 registered pharmacies in Kamrup (Metro) while there are 10,000 pharmacies in the entire state.   

Bhuban Chandra Das, Registrar of APC, told G Plus that till now they have identified 754 fake pharmacies in the state. Further, cases have also been registered against such pharmacies.
     
Explaining about the background of keeping a check on fake pharmacies in the state, Das informed that close to 2,800 fake pharmacies were registered in Assam between 1998 and 2008. 

With a view to undertake stringent action against such pharmacists who are flouting norms of the Pharmacy Act 1948, the state government formed a verification committee which detected that these pharmacies are fake. 
 
Following this, the Assam Pharmacy Council started cancellation of registration from the register of the APC. However, during that period, the association of pharmacies including drug dealers’ association and pharmacists’ forum of Assam approached the Gauhati High Court. 

“The High Court then passed an order to maintain status quo. So, the process of cancellation of registration of pharmacies came to a halt. Following this, an affidavit was filed in the Gauhati High Court against that verdict. Now in May 2018, the High Court clubbed all cases into one and gave a verdict directing the writ petitioners who applied against the council to come to the APC along with application and with relevant documents of education,” said Das.

Additionally, the Gauhati High Court had fixed three days for the APC to retake and verify applications of the pharmacists in July 2018. However, officials of the APC said that they received only 14 applications. The council further found that they could not submit relevant documents in support of their demands, therefore APC decided to cancel registration of 14 pharmacies. 
 
Further, in the subsequent months, the council found that 543 applications were show caused and the executive committee of APC decided to cancel all names of writ petitioners from the register of APC as they could not submit any relevant documents in support of their registration.
 
Officials informed that in the next three months, they will begin a drive to verify the documents of the existing pharmacies in the state and will cancel the registrations of those pharmacists who fail to submit legitimate documents.

The decision was taken to curb the sale of counterfeit medicines and to provide registration to only those who have the requisite knowledge in the field of medicine. 
    
“Now the process is ongoing, those pharmacies who come for fresh registration, before giving them the registration we will verify from respective documents and authorities and we will provide registration to them only after receiving the verification report from the respective authorities,” Das told G Plus. 
      
The Assam Pharmacy Council is a statutory body constituted by the government of Assam under the provisions of the Pharmacy Act 1948. It was set up with the objective to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy in the state. 

The prime function of the council is to grant registration and renewal thereof to the eligible candidates possessing requisite qualifications as per the provisions of section 32(2) of the Pharmacy Act and to enforce the necessary provisions of the Pharmacy Act 1948.

Additionally, the council also undertakes continuous pharmacist education programme, refresher courses to the working registered pharmacists to update their knowledge and to have updated drug information.

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