Health Ministry’s drug Bill irks TN chemists’ association

In a letter to the ministry, the panel stressed that for years, the percentage of those facing action for selling substandard, spurious and adulterated drugs in the trading sector has been low.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: As the draft of new Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill has been proposed, Tamil Nadu Druggists and Chemists’ Association has issued several recommendations to the Union Health Ministry.

In a letter to the ministry, the panel stressed that for years, the percentage of those facing action for selling substandard, spurious and adulterated drugs in the trading sector has been low.

Punishing wholesale and retail licenses for not keeping records, not maintaining registrars, which has not been harmful to the public, is unnecessary.

“All retail and wholesale licensees are buying and selling medicines with proper bills. If there is no mistake on their side, they should not be included in the legal action for storing and selling these medicines,” urged Srinivasan Ramachandran, former president of TN Chemists & Druggists Association.

He pointed out that the new bill encourages multinational and corporate companies to engulf small and medium size Indian companies and small retailer traders. “The new bill shows heavy penalties and imprisonment which are not affordable for small businesses, and hence, will be eliminated from the field.

The heavy penalties should be removed from the proposals,” Srinivasan said.

The letter also states that pre-constitutional form of relinquishing the rights of State government and functioning under the control of the Union government should be removed.

The panel also demanded the withdrawal of increase in the licence and retention fees as it has been increased to 8-fold from the existing fees.

Regarding online pharmacies, the panel claimed that retail outlets were licensed even in small towns and rural areas in the country to dispense required medicines throughout India.

The letter also states that pre-constitutional form of relinquishing the rights of State govt and functioning under the control of the Union govt should be removed

“The proposal of issuing licences to online vendors should be removed, as it’ll Indian drug retailers and wholesalers,” the association demanded.

It also asked for the issuance of drug licenses of retail outlets for every 500 families. “All food products manufactured with one or more molecules or ingredients of drugs in any forms should be considered as a drug, and it should be controlled by the drugs control authorities. Any drug or ingredients claiming as drugs can be taken for testing and further action by a pharmacy graduate as per Drugs Control Act,” the letter stated.

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