131 medical shops prosecuted for violating Drugs Act

In the last two years, the Drugs Controller office has launched prosecution against 131 medical shops for violating the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Drugs (prices control).

Officials say that with the mushrooming of medical shops in the State – as of now around 29,500 – the number of prosecution was also increasing.

A senior official said that in most cases medical shops were found to be selling substandard medicines, spurious medicines and sale without prescriptions.

During 2013-14, prosecution was launched against 54 outlets, while it has already crossed 77 till date this year.

Apart from launching prosecution, the department has suspended 733 premises and cancelled 1,257 outlets for violating various norms of the Act and licence conditions.

More than 50 per cent

State Drugs Controller Dr Raghuram Bhandary said the conviction rate in the cases referred for prosecution had been more than 50 per cent.

“The units our officials have to cover have been increasing with every passing year. Last year, till March 2014, there have been 25 convictions. The conviction rate has been improving in these cases because of scientific and document-based evidence. One of the main reasons for the rise in the number of prosecutions is the sharp increase in medical shops. The violations also include outlets without licence and sale of drugs without the presence of a pharmacist,” Dr Bhandary told Deccan Herald.

Apart from the sales premises, officials have to inspect manufacturing units, including cosmetic manufacturing units, blood banks, approved laboratories and blood storage centres across the State.

Staff shortage

The State has 594 manufacturing units, 184 blood banks and 167 blood storage centres. “We have only 25 drug inspectors as against the sanctioned strength of 112. About 60 assistant drug controllers were sanctioned, whereas we have 53. The inspectors have to inspect, submit report, attend to the court and also depose for recording of evidence,” the official said.

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