Pharmacists protest proposed changes to drug act

Pharmacists and students from various colleges in the city staged a protest at Town Hall on Friday. DH photo

Pharmacists in the city went on a protest on Friday, opposing the changes proposed under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, which will allow various stakeholders to prescribe medicines.

The recent draft by the Centre to amend Schedule K of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act will allow community health workers, accredited social health activists, nurses and midwives to prescribe drugs.

H M Arun Patel, a protesters, said: “The amendment can put people’s lives in danger.” Patel was among the 200 students and pharmacists who gathered at Town Hall to express their views against the draft.

“These people have no knowledge about patients’ safety. Only a registered pharmacist can dispense medicines as per the Pharmacy Act, 1948. Anyone else doing it, will amount to a crime,” Patel said.

He also said it was a question of job opportunity for many students who were pursuing the course currently. “If everyone is allowed to dispense medicines, students will be left with fewer employment options,” he said.

Students from various pharmacy colleges and members of the Karnataka Pharmacy Management Association expressed solidarity with the protesters.

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