| Mamta Agrawal, owner of Dadiji Medical Store, at SP Verma Road in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
The state drug administration would issue an order to introduce compulsory dress code for pharmacists at drug stores in Patna, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur to ensure complete adherence to rules.
This is being done to check the practice of running medicine shops without services of pharmacists.
State drug controller Hemkant Kumar Sinha said the system would be enforced from the first week of July.
“All drug store owners would be asked to arrange for the particular uniform for their pharmacist that would be an apron. The pharmacists would be asked to wear the uniform, along with the badge on which their registration number would be imprinted,” he said.
Sources in the drug control administration said they have received reports that pharmacists have not been engaged in some of the drug stores.
“By introducing a uniform for pharmacists, things would become much easier. Whether a drug store has engaged a pharmacist or not would become visible to all. Even people would be able to check the presence of pharmacists,” added Sinha.
Drug store owners of Patna, however, had a mixed reaction when The Telegraph spoke to them about the initiative of the state drug control administration.
“I don’t think the initiative would have any effect. Rather than coming up with such an initiative, the state drug control administration needs to penetrate into the grassroots. While issuing licence to a particular drug store, they should check whether they have pharmacists or not and even after issuing a licence they should carry out investigation from time to time to check whether the pharmacist is present at the drug store or not,” said D.K. Mehra, pharmacist-cum-owner of Sona Medical Store near Income Tax roundabout.
He added: “As far as introducing uniform for pharmacist is concerned, residents particularly from the interiors, would not have any interest in checking the pharmacist’s presence. Forget about pharmacists, they don’t even check the expiry date and batch numbers of medicines.”
Residents were, however, full praise for the new initiative.
“Some of my friends told me that they were given wrong drugs by unqualified people at medical stores. However, so far I have not come across any such incident but I am happy that the drug control administration is taking measures to ensure that the residents get the right drug,” said Sarveshwar Tiwari, a lawyer at Patna High Court, who was seen purchasing medicines from a drug store near Income Tax roundabout.