After Konkan region, Mumbai chemists rank the worst in the state when it comes to violating rules such as pharmacists not being present in shops.
The annual statistics of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has revealed that maximum number of violations by chemist shops were in the Konkan region, followed by Mumbai where over 1500 chemists were fined for various violations, including non presence of pharmacists, between April 2012 to September 2013.
While Pune saw the maximum number of inspections in the state by FDA officials, the number of chemists shops fined were less than 10% of those inspected, FDA sources said. The state FDA has been taking strict action against chemists shops, from suspension and cancellation of licences for a period of one month to even permanent suspensions. Acts like issuing medicines or purchasing without generating bills, poor maintenance of records, etc, also invite the FDA action.
Irked by FDA’s stringent action, the chemists’ association has now announced yet another three-day strike starting December 16. FDA sources said that the figures of number of licence cancellations have nearly tripled in the past one year.
Urban chemists less compliant
DR Gahane, assistant commissioner (headquarters), FDA explained that the compliance by chemists in urban areas is far worse than rural areas. “In rural pockets, we see that mostly people from the same village graduate in pharmacy and set up their retail shops. It means the pharmacists only owns the shop. In urban areas, we see people hiring pharmacists and they could be attached to more than one place,” he said.