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Maharashtra: 522 state medical stores lack pharmacists

As per the pharmacy law, one pharmacist cannot work in multiple medical stores, and at the same time the medical store will need to employ a pharmacist to disburse medicines prescribed by medical practitioners.

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The Maharashtra association members of All Food and Drugs License Holders Foundation (AFDLHF) have written a letter to Maharashtra's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating that 522 medical stores in the state are running without pharmacist and more than 78 medical stores have multiple registered pharmacists listed in online portal.

As per the pharmacy law, one pharmacist cannot work in multiple medical stores, and at the same time the medical store will need to employ a pharmacist to disburse medicines prescribed by medical practitioners.

Abhay Pandey, president of All Food and Drugs License Holders Foundation (AFDLHF), said, "We have seen on the FDA website that there is irregularity in the names of the pharmacist listed as well as in medical stores. As per the website, around 522 medical stores in the state and 122 medical stores in Mumbai city are running without pharmacist. Similarly, 78 medical stores in the state, out of which 22 medical stores in Mumbai are running with multiple pharmacist which is against the law. We have written a letter to the FDA authority in order to take action and check the ongoing irregularity."

Speaking about the action to be taken on the complaint filed by AFDLHF, FDA Joint Commissioner (HQ) Amrut Nikhade said, "We have received a complaint on Friday. At local district level, we have instructed the FDA inspectors to do a ground check on the complaint filed. Zone-wise inspections will be done regarding the complaint. The data provided by them is given through the FDA website. Many a times, the there is irregularity in the maintenance of the data during the transition period. When a pharmacist leaves one medical store only to join another, there can be duplication of data in such situations. We give one month's time period for the medical stores to add and get the documents approval of the new pharmacist."

He added, "Without pharmacist, a medical store should not be functioning. But sometimes, the approval of documentation takes time due to which one month's approval period is granted while appointing new pharmacist."

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