PESHAWAR: The health department is amending rules to ensure presence of qualified pharmacists in drugstores, safe supplies and storage facilities besides sale of medicines only on medical prescription.

The new rules make it obligatory for manufacturers to supply drugs to only those stores that had been granted licences by the department.

The amendments are aimed at devising a method for purchase of medicines from manufactures or authorised agents by retailers and their further sale.

New rules to regulate drugs business await govt’s approval

The sellers will show proof of purchase so that people get quality drugs, officials said. They added that a summary in this regard had been sent to the government for approval.

The officials said that last time rules were notified in 1982 in line with Section 44 of the Drugs Act 1976, but these were not sufficient to regulate sale of drugs as the market had grown significantly.

They said that the present rules were insufficient to cover the expanded drug business and couldn’t cope with the challenge to effectively regulate sale of drugs and ensure that people get quality drugs.

The need for framing new rules was felt by the Provincial Quality Control Board after going through the cases lodged against sellers by drug inspectors.

The officials said that courts had always been asking the health department to frame solid cases which wasn’t easy under the existing rule. They said that following approval of the new set of rules the pharmacies, retail medical stores and distribution points would display signboards of different colours.

They said that the medical stores would display the signboard in green with white writing, pharmacies in red with white writing and in case of wholesale shop and distribution setup the signboard would be in blue with black writing on it.

They said that it would be ensured that drugs were stored under certain temperature under the supervision of a qualified person, a pharmacy graduate.

The new rules would also check the growth of illegal medical stores, the officials said, adding that unqualified people running stores would face penalties. They said that the department would restrain unqualified people from sale of drugs through monitoring and supervision.

Besides, fees for licences and tests would also be revised, the officials said, adding that a more convenient way for issuance and renewal of licences had been proposed for the business of medicines.

They said that drug inspectors would be liable to dispose of cases in a specified time. They would also be classifying narrow therapeutic index drugs and their sale over the counter.

The officials said that the storeowners would display the original registration, issued under the Pharmacy Act, to check the current practice wherein more than one stores operated under one registration.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017