Registered pharmacists have demanded that the State Government appoint a special officer to oversee the functioning of the Andhra Pradesh Pharmacy Council until the constitution of a full-fledged committee with six elected, five nominated and four ex-officio members under Section 19 of the Pharmacy Act 1958.

Andhra Pradesh Drug Trade Association general secretary P.S. Patnaik, addressing a press conference here on Thursday, said pharmacists, who had been registered for decades seeking renewal by the council, were being harassed in the name of counselling.

The Government should appoint either an IAS or an IPS officer to oversee the functioning of the council, he said.

They said registration fee for fresh pharmacists had been increased from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5,500 and money was being collected for renewal which was free earlier . The collection of renewal fee was not transparent and varied from case to case, they alleged.

The enhancement of fee was not legal because it was not approved by the council, they said.

Alleging that the collection of excess money for registration and renewal of registration was irregular, Mr Patnaik demanded that the State Government cancel the cheque power of the registrar immediately.

A few senior citizens who were registered pharmacists for several decades said that they were subjected to harassment when they applied for renewal of registration. They said that the counsellors insulted them outright suggesting that they retire as they were over 60 years old. They demanded that the Government stop collection of enhanced fee for registration and continue renewal free of cost like in the past.

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