Indian Apex Court Upholds the profession of pharmacy

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Thanks to Dr R S Thakur for having shared the landmark judicial order of the Indian Apex court the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. The learned court has upheld the pharmacist persona and the profession while dismissing a petition that had an ulterior motive to stamp down the pharmacist and his profession. It has prooved that the Pharmacist's professional service is very much required in delivering the health care services:

Quote: This anti-people issue has rocked the country several times in past and at least I have been fighting against this since 1977. Fortunately, the perpetrators of this heinous move never succeeded in past and so will be the fate now too. However, in democracy you cannot stop any one from engaging in such activity in future too. Every time new Fronts/bodies will surface to renew the same old rotten issues, because the old bodies have no face to make the issue alive.

The issues raised by the new outfit are refuted as a whole and individual points addressed one by one.

  1. Their supposition of "pharma trade industry" is completely misplaced. There is no question of trade in medicines anywhere in the advanced world. As the allopathic medicines arrived in India with British rulers every event related to it has to be correlated to conditions over there. As back as In 1599 James VI(King of Scotland, England and Ireland) granted charter to the Glasgow Faculty, which issued a license to practice pharmacy to candidates who passed its examination in Pharmacy. In 1657, in Edinburgh, an examination became compulsory for all those who wished to practice pharmacy in that city. Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was founded in 1841. In 1844-45 Pharmaceutical society's school of pharmacy became first institution in London to offer laboratory instructions for pharmacy students under proper guidance and supervision. The Pharmacy Act, 1852 made provision for an examination, and those who passed it were entitled to have their names entered on the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists. The Pharmacy Act, 1868 set up another examination, which entitled successful candidates to be registered as chemists and druggists.

Therefore, since 16th century only qualified Pharmacists have handled allopathic medicines for sound scientific and technical reasons and even now no one other than a registered Pharmacist can do so. Hence there can be thought of a "pharma trade industry". Its sound professional service which patient of every nation is entitled and it cannot be abandoned for trade interests of some one.

  1. No provision of Pharmacy Act compulsorily demands that a qualified pharmacist should be present in a retail drug store always. We are going to prove it," - the contention is absolutely false. Section 42 of Pharmacy Act, 1948 is not only emphatic about it but also impose penalty of imprisonment or fine or both. Moreover, this issue has been settled by Allahabad High Court as well as Hon'ble Supreme Court of India as back as on 12.12.1997(judgment attached).

  2. Though the traders are not qualified in pharmacy subject, they are all educated and well-trained in the pharmaceutical business which is one of the supporting pillars of healthcare system - Only qualified pharmacists are pillar of healthcare system. In fact there is no pharmaceutical business course anywhere in the world. Merely self styling as educated and well-trained in the pharmaceutical business is hallucination of morbid mind. Why do not they get educated and trained as pharmacist for which course is existing since 1948 at Institute of Pharmacy Jalpaiguri(the first in India)?

  3. 4. They just sell the well-packed products on the prescription of qualified doctors. Hence, pharmacist's service is not necessary for selling the packed medicines in a medical shop - This is what great disservice they are doing to the nation. Every medicine has to be dispensed and not simply sold. The patient has right to be informed everything about the medicines he is going to take including how to take, when to take, how to keep their medicines, what to eat, what not to eat, what to drink, what not to drink, what are probable interactions involved, what adverse reactions may happen, what to do in case of such events and many more things specific for individual medicine and individual dosage form of medicine- like special precautions for eye drop, eye ointments, medicines for external use only and so on and so forth.....

  4. PTAB has started an Academy of Pharmacy Management & Guidance (APMG) to train the unqualified staffs working in the retail stores - As per Sec.10(1)(k) of All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987 no course in pharmacy or management can be started without prior approval of AICTE. If they are running any such course AICTE has to take stringent action against them.

  5. All the states in India are facing serious shortages of qualified and registered pharmacists - It is an absolutely wrong contention. There are more than five lakhs unemployed registered Pharmacists in India and every year some fifty thousand add to that list.

  6. 7. Employing full time pharmacists in community pharmacies is like wasting precious and skilful national wealth and they could be utilized in the other areas of the health sector to serve the society in a better way - As per him entire world is fool, because this compulsory requirement of pharmacist is globally a legal requirement in the interest of health and happiness of citizens.

In nut shell all the seven points raised by the so called AICDF are anti-people and against health and happiness of masses in 21st century India, which is poised to be Super power.

Dr. R. S. Thakur


Federation of Indian Pharmacists' Organizations.

Encl: Supreme Court judgment.

About the Author

Ph. Bhagavan P S RPh's picture

I am Bhagavan ,Rtd. Dy Dir.(Pharmacy),Govt of Karnataka, India and currently serving as Registrar, KSPC, Bengaluru, India . I love to write on Hospital pharmacy series related topics out of my experience and observations. Check out my Pharmacist in the Hospital.

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