The state pharmacy councils are not authorized to inspect the hospital pharmacies as the Act mandates that a registered medical practitioner can compound, dispense and stock medicines in his/her hospital pharmacies for the purpose of giving them to their own patients.
So, the Kerala State Pharmacy Council’s plan to inspect the hospital pharmacies is against the Act as it does not warrant such inspection, said Dr Thirumalai Elango, Registrar, Tamil Nadu Pharmacy Council.
Commenting on the enforcement steps taken by Kerala pharmacy council, Dr Elango said there is no need of a pharmacy inspector to inspect the premises of a hospital pharmacy as long as a registered medical practitioner is there. Further, he went on to the extent of saying that the Pharmacy Act itself is not needed when the Drugs and Cosmetics Act is there, which will suffice all the legal requirements.
According to him, the duty of the pharmacy council is to register the certificates of the pharmacy graduates and diploma holders and issue a registration certificate for practice.
“The Act does not specify any refresher course or adverse drug reaction monitoring to be conducted by the pharmacy council. There are several councils do conduct several programs and training courses. These are all against the Act and unwarranted. The Act does not demand any such programs. The Council does not have the right to interfere in the affairs of the educational institutions also. PCI is controlling the diploma course and universities are conducting the degree courses. State councils’ duty is to register the certificates and issue practicing licences only, all other things are illegal”, he told Pharmabiz.
When asked whether Tamil Nadu pharmacy council has any plan to appoint pharmacy inspectors, the registrar said the drug inspectors are conducting all the inspections and asked just for enquiring whether a registered pharmacist is dispensing the drugs why should a pharmacy inspector be appointed. However, he added that the council had earlier written to the state government for sanction to appoint inspectors, but not received the approval. He said no follow up step was taken with the government as the council felt there was no need of pharmacy inspectors.
To another query, Dr Elango said nothing special is taken place in the Tamil Nadu pharmacy council except registration and renewal of certificates. The registrar is often attending as resource person for seminars and workshops conducted by pharmacy colleges and pharmacist associations in and outside of Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, B Rajan, the president of Kerala pharmacy council said section 26 A of the Pharmacy Act says that while performing duties, the pharmacy inspector can inspect any premises where drugs are compounded/dispensed, and a written report should be submitted to the registrar of the council. He further said there is an exemption given to the registered medical practitioner to give medicines to his/ her patients. This rule does not warrant that a pharmacy inspector should not inspect a hospital pharmacy.