Kerala would get the distinction to be the first state in the country to have pharmacy inspectors in all the districts of the state for strict enforcement of Pharmacy Act 1948. Currently, there are five pharmacy inspectors working in the state, while the government has accorded sanction to appoint nine more pharmacy inspectors.
The state government had last year accorded sanction to appoint seven more pharmacy inspectors on a proposal submitted by the Kerala State Pharmacy Council (KSPC), in addition to the five pharmacy inspectors currently working in the state to detect cases of violation of Pharmacy Act. Two posts were lying vacant for some time. All these nine inspectors are likely to be appointed by the end of the year as per the request by KSPC to the state health department.
After these appointments, Kerala would get the distinction to be the first state in the country to have pharmacy inspectors in all the districts for strict enforcement of Pharmacy Act 1948. KSPC is a statutory body functioning under the Kerala State Health Department. It is constituted under Section 19 of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy in the state.
According to the state council officials, the appointment of pharmacy inspectors will be helpful in carrying out timely inspections for effective check on illegal activities like dispensing of medicines by unqualified people. Informs B Rajan, president, KSPC, “Pharmacy Inspectors are appointed on a part-time basis from among the pharmacists of state government healthcare institutions who are supposed to carry out inspections in retail and government drug stores for the stipulated six day period in a month and then submit the inspection reports to the state council for further action.”
An honorarium is being paid to the pharmacy inspector from the funds generated through registrations by the state council. Until 2006, the council had seven inspectors with charges of two districts for one inspector but as of today two posts are lying vacant which are likely to be filled by September, 2014. Kerala has a total of 14 districts.
The council is a quasi-judicial body which can act against pharmacists by way of either issuing warning letters or canceling their registrations. Council can also take action against the offenders for violation of the Pharmacy Act under Section 36 wherein the executive committee of the state council can give the judgment based on the inspection report filed by the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official, oath of affidavit and explanation by the pharmacist.