Crackdown on illegal sale of prescription drugs


Pharmacies in Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur inspected

The State Drug Control Department is undertaking a drive against the illegal sale of prescription drugs by pharmacies. Drug control officers conducted inspections in pharmacies across the Coimbatore Zone, which covered Coimbatore, Erode and Tirupur districts.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, mandated the pharmacies to obtain a photocopy of prescription for certain drugs that have been identified as ‘habit-forming drugs’ in the form of cough syrups or painkillers.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Friday that Drug Inspectors inspected a total of 40 pharmacies in these three districts on Thursday and Friday. Of these, six pharmacies were found to have violated the norms following which the Drug Inspectors seized sales documents. Four of these pharmacies were located in Coimbatore while the remaining two were in Tirupur and Erode.

The documents would be scrutinised following which legal action was likely to be initiated. The pharmacists face a possible prison sentence of six months and a fine of Rs. 20,000.

There was a legal provision for revocation of licences for repeat offenders.

Sources said that the focus of the inspections was the sale of cough syrups that contained codeine phosphate, alprazolam, and nitrazepam besides pentazocine injections.

The Drug Inspectors obtained the distribution records from wholesale dealers and found out which pharmacists were procuring these items in huge quantities or more frequently. Following this, the inspections were mounted at the pharmacies which were asked for their inventory and sales records. The documents were seized in the shops where the discrepancies were found in the records.

Drug Control Inspectors had filed 19 cases in Coimbatore Zone so far this year for violation of the NDPS Act. While Coimbatore district had around 1,000 pharmacies, Tirupur and Erode districts had around 500 each. Officials said that surveillance would be stepped in the future.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:28:34 PM |

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