Chemists shut down shops early to pressurize FDA

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 19 Februari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The state Food and Drug Administration's tough stand to implement the mandatory presence of a qualified pharmacist in every chemist shop has not gone down too well with the latter. Having tried every trick in the book to wriggle out of this strict norm, the chemists have now threatened to shut shops early as a mark of protest.

Over 2,000 chemist shops in the city, even the ones with license to operate 24 hours, are threatening to shut down as early as 6pm from Tuesday. The chemists have been at war with the FDA since the latter started checks to ensure the presence of qualified pharmacists during the sale of drugs. While, the FDA said it was not too big a requirement to be fulfilled, the chemists have been inisiting that the officials have been penalizing them even if the chemists are not present at the time of FDA inspection.

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act empowers the FDA officials to issue a stop sales and purchase order against the chemists who do not have a pharmacist. The chemists associations have also been insisting that it was difficult to find pharmacists for over 6000 shops in the city. An FDA official called it a "bogus pretext" to duck the law.

The chemists said since January, when the FDA launched its crackdown, more than 80 shops were forced to shut operations. In the last two weeks, the FDA has issued stop sale notices to 86 chemists. atives.

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