Tamil Nadu

Diploma pharmacists protest

A section of pharmacists began their indefinite fast on Thursday demanding that the government protect their livelihood.

The diploma holders demanded that the State government withdraw its order permitting graduates and doctorate degree holders to apply for the post of dispensing pharmacists in government institutions. There are around 3,000 posts of pharmacist in the government to which until now diploma holders were appointed. However, after a High Court verdict, the government had revised its G.O. that diploma pharmacists say has hurt their livelihood. M. Anandan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu All Pharmacists Federation, said the decision had come in the wake of the Tamil Nadu Pharmacy Council’s reply to a court query on eligibility criteria for appointment.

“We did a two-year diploma course and 750 hours of training in dispensing medicines, indenting, stock-taking and maintaining ledgers of medicine. A.B. Pharm graduate studies for four years and is qualified to work in drug manufacturing firms, become a drug inspector or analyst. A person with doctorate in pharmacy can become a professor.

The protesting pharmacists say these graduates are fighting for the lower posts and blame it on the Council.

An official of the Council said it was only replying to a query raised by the court. The Council had cited the Pharmacy Act of 1948 that permitted anyone who had studied pharmacy to dispense medicine. By that rule even bachelor degree and doctoral degree holders were eligible to apply for the post, she added.

“We only replied that all are eligible according to the Act. In the 1970s, colleges began to offer undergraduate programmes. There are around 98,000 registered pharmacists, including D. Pharm D and B. Pharm graduates. All registered pharmacists are eligible to set up a medical shop and run it,” the official explained.

According to her the government had assured that a ratio of posts would be allocated for diploma pharmacists when the government announces recruitment drive.

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Printable version | Mar 13, 2022 3:15:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/diploma-pharmacists-protest/article38336347.ece