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Times of India
02 December 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Pune, India

FDA Faults Them For Not Employing Pharmacists
20 Medical Stores Get Show-cause Notice
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has served show–cause notices to 20 chemist shops in Pune and Pimpri–Chinchwad for not employing a pharmacist, a mandatory requirement for a medicine shop. Over the last three days, the FDA also undertook a massive drive and raided 78 medical stores with the help of eight drug inspectors – five of them specially deputed from Mumbai.

"The FDA wants to ensure strict compliance of rules. We have served show–cause notices to 20 medical stores for not having a pharmacist. This is mandatory under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940," S K Patil, joint commissioner FDA, Pune division told TOI on Tuesday. The erring medical stores were served notice for violation of Rule 65 (2) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.

"A pharmacist is an important component in the distribution and sale of medicines and medical devices. He has to understand the doctor’s prescription and give medicines accordingly," said Sharad Agarkhedkar, president of the city chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA).

"In the absence of a pharmacist, there are chances that a medicine could be wrongly dispensed. There are some drugs of various schedules which require careful scrutiny from the pharmacist.

For a example, oseltamivir or Tamiflu tablets, meant for swine flu patients, are to be given only when the prescription is available in duplicate (two copies of the prescription from the qualified registered medical practitioner). Besides this, there are various medications that sound similar. In such cases, consumption of the wrong medicine can harm the patient," said Agarkhedkar.

"The issue of a medicine’s expiry date is equally crucial. A pharmacist checks the expiry date and mentions it on the medicine bills. This is one type of check so that medicines beyond their expiry date are not given to patients," added Agarkhedkar.

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