11 November 2011
Sample this just 52 drug inspectors of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) have the arduous task of carrying out the mandatory inspection of the outlets of nearly 76,000 drug license holders involving distributors and traders across the State.
Under the rules, it is mandatory to inspect the outlets at least once a year. But, given the strength of the inspectors, it is impossible to do it. As inspections are time consuming, the inspectors are unable to cover all these outlets once a year.
FDA officials at the headquarters admitted that unless there are fresh recruitments in adequate numbers, such yearly inspections cannot be done. “There has been no recruitment of drug inspectors in the last 15 years,” sources added.
In some districts like Kolhapur that comes under the Pune division of FDA, there are no drug inspectors. In districts like Satara, Sangli, there is just one inspector. And in some districts like Solapur, drug inspectors have been given additional charge to shoulder other responsibilities of the department.
However, the new FDA commissioner, Mahesh Zagade, who took charge couple of months ago, has evolved a new system of “self inspection” by the distributors and medical shop owners, apparently to tide over the crisis.
Under this system, all the drug license holders have to furnish details about their present stock, its expiry date, sale of medicines, details of pharmacist working at the shop etc in the forms given by the department.
“Once the forms come back to the department, it would be scrutinised and, in case of any doubts, the FDA officials can carry out random inspections,” sources. said.
Appreciating the new system, FDA officials claimed that it would serve a dual purpose––the authorities can keep a track of all the outlets and also enable to the license holders to find out the drawbacks and overcome it during self inspection.
FDA joint commissioner, Pune, Sanjay Patil said that forms have already been distributed to the drug license holders.Inspection
Under this system, all the drug license holders have to furnish details about their present stock, its expiry date, details of pharmacist working at the shop etc in the forms given by the department.