Only prescription by a qualified doctor will allow you to buy drugs from a chemist as per the latest direction of the Delhi Drug Controller, which has issued a warning to the city chemists asking them to go strictly by the book or face legal action.

“Time and again it has been brought to the notice of all concerned by the officers of the State Drug Controller that strict adherence to provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetic Rule, 1945, is mandatory but is not often followed. Many times it has been observed that some licensees do not observe the rules for which reason they have to be penalised by the licensing authority concerned,” said a senior official at State Drug Controller.

The rule states that medicines can be dispensed only on prescription from a registered medical practitioner and in view of the rule, the State Drug Controller has written to the Chemists’ Association of Delhi stating that “wholesalers and also the retail chemists are advised to dispense drugs only to and against a valid prescription of a registered medical practitioner as described by the rules”.

Asking the Association to inform all its members, the Drug Controller has also warned that non-compliance with the rule will be viewed seriously and entail strict action against the erring chemist by the licensing authority concerned .

“Worried about the number of quacks and the several cases of patients coming in with adverse reaction to medicines and treatment and exposing themselves to the ills of self-medication we had alerted the State Drug Controller about the problem of people buying drugs without a proper prescription and chemists allowing it,” said Indian Medical Association joint secretary Dr. Anil Bansal. “We aren’t saying that the rules aren’t in place, the problem is with implementation. We have a zero-tolerance policy against chemists who are selling medicines without prescription and this latest direction is aimed at telling them that the practice has to stop in public interest or else strict action would be taken against them,” added Dr. Bansal.

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