Chemists in Hyderabad & Secunderabad sell prescription drugs as OTC drugs
February 11, 2011
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Chemists in Hyderabad & Secunderabad sell prescription drugs as OTC drugs February 11, 2011, 0800 IST – Source : Pharmabiz News
Most of the chemist shops, including retail chains, in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are freely selling prescription drugs as Over The Counter (OTC) drugs, it is learnt. Sources in the Andhra Pradesh Drug Control Administration (APDCA) said that the administration is extremely handicapped because of the shortage of manpower. It has only 24 drug inspectors to ensure the quality of medicines, good manufacturing practices and to carry out inspections. Sources said that the main priority of the administration is to ensure the quality of medicines and check the spurious drugs. As the staff is not even enough to ensure the quality of medicines, they are not able to prevent selling of Schedule H drugs without prescription. A senior official with the APDCA, said, “It is impossible to prevent selling of prescription drugs without prescription in the social situation of India. Most of the people are not rich enough to go to doctors and pay Rs. 100 or 200 as fee. So they are going to the medical shops and buying medicines without prescription.” A former director of the drug control administration of Andhra Pradesh, told Pharmabiz that most of the chemists shops in Hyderabad are selling Schedule H drugs without doctor’s prescription. The lack of manpower is the main hurdle preventing the administration to curb this practice. An office bearer of the Federation of Drug Traders Andhra Pradesh, said, “As per our knowledge chemists are not selling prescription drugs without prescription. Out of the 25000-35000 medical shops in the state only 25-35 shops will be doing this practice.” Another officer bearer of the association said that some people are coming to the medical shops to purchase medicines for problems such as headache as many of them are not having money to pay Rs. 100 as fee to the doctors for small problems. However, he denied that medical shops are selling medicines that come under Schedule H. The association has strictly told members not to sell Schedule H drugs without prescription. When contacted Apollo Pharmacy, one of the leading retail chains in the state, no one was ready to respond. MedPlus, another major retail chain in the twin cities, was also not ready to respond.