Pharmacy Profession the Distortion Increased in Nepal
In the pharmacy profession the distortion increased when owner of pharmacy and pharmacists became different
Nepal Pharmacy Council is also ready to take legal action if the Department of Drug Administration does not take an immediate decision
Sub-section 2 of Section 17 of the Drug Act 2035 states, “Pharmacists or pharmacy assistants or practitioners shall be required to make the sale as per the prescription of the pharmacist and other pharmacists or pharmacy assistants or practitioners shall be required to sell such drugs. Attendance will be mandatory.
Although the provision of mandatory presence of pharmacist while selling and distributing drugs is not applicable in practice. A survey conducted by the Department of Drug Administration found that pharmacists were absent in 80 pharmacy shops. This is the DDA’s statistics for the last three months.
Looking at the details of these pharmacy shops, it was written that most of them were absent. That is, it confirms the sale and distribution of drugs in a pharmacy store with the involvement of an unauthorized person other than a pharmacist.
The Nepal Pharmacy Council has written a letter to the Department of Drug Administration saying that the owner and the pharmacist of the pharmacy shop should be the same person to stop this distortion seen in the pharmacy profession.
The letter said, “We request the department to take immediate steps to stop the sale and distribution of drugs with the involvement of unauthorized persons.”
According to the Nepal Pharmacy Council Rules 2059, a pharmacy practitioner is a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant.
According to the council, the decision of the department to differentiate between pharmacy owner and practitioner (pharmacist or pharmacy assistant) in the pharmacy has caused distortion in the pharmacy profession, said the registrar of the Nepal Pharmacy Council. The department has an old decision to have one owner and one practitioners in partnership to run the pharmacy.
Registrar said that the department should immediately revise its decision and implement the provision that the owner and the practitioners (pharmacist or pharmacy assistant) should be the same. He says that steps have been taken to stop the growing corruption in the pharmacy profession.
This request of the council is also a kind of instruction to the department. Because the council is ready to take legal action if the department does not take a decision on this issue within the next two years.
What are the current activities of Nepal Pharmacy Council?
The Act has defined various jurisdictions and provisions for conducting the pharmacy profession in a scientific and systematic manner.
- As per the provisions of the NPC act, three examinations are being conducted annually and skill-based trainings are being conducted
- NPC conducting trainings to increase the capacity of pharmacists in community pharmacies and hospitals.
- After some time you apply CPD training.
- Therefore, such trainings should be taken while updating your registration certificate from now on.
- Those working in community pharmacies should take community related training, those working in hospitals should take hospital related training, those working in academic should take academic related training.
It was the decision of the Department of Drug Administration to allow owner and practitioners to be different in partnership. They are currently protesting against the decision of the department saying that the distortion in the pharmacy profession has increased. What is the council doing to prevent this kind of distortion?
Department of Drug Administration was asked to monitor whether pharmacists, pharmacy assistants or practitioners are providing services from their own pharmacy while conducting pharmacy business. Some pharmacists are operating the pharmacy in a very systematic way. But at the same time some distortions have been seen.
It is the departmental decision of the department to allow the owner and the practitioners to be different. Accordingly, in partnership, rich and businessmen will be able to run pharmacy shops together. In that case, the presence of the businessman in the pharmacy will be negligible and the rich will run the pharmacy themselves. That is confirmed by the letters and allegations received by the department in the last three months. Based on that, if a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant does not run a pharmacy, it is an ambush against the spirit of the Drugs Act.
It was later found that an unauthorized person was selling and distributing drugs on the basis of the said provision. Does it seem to be taking more risks?
As a body issuing registration certificates, NPC cannot sit idly by. Therefore, we have written to the department by making a decision from the board. If the concept of owner and practitioners is to be followed, then at least in the case of a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant, the person who is owner should be a practitioners.
It is the departmental decision of the department to allow the rich and the businessmen to be different. Accordingly, in partnership, owner and practitioners will be able to run pharmacy shops together. In that case, the presence of the practitioners in the pharmacy will be negligible and the rich will run the pharmacy themselves. That is confirmed by the letters and allegations received by the department in the last three months. Based on that, if a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant does not run a pharmacy, it is an ambush against the spirit of the Drugs Act.
What are the effects on the pharmacy profession and public health when the owner and the practitioners are different? What are the possible deformities?
Suppose I am a pharmacist and you are owner. You registered the shop in collaboration with me. Pharmacists / pharmacy assistants may also provide registration certificates for some financial gain. I can’t say for sure. But it turned out.
Those pharmacists do not show up at their pharmacy. There is no such thing as a paid pharmacist. You are the owner of a pharmacy. But you are a bussiness man. Business man do not sell or distribute drugs. In this case, what happens when you sell and distribute the medicine? Yes, this is exactly the situation now. Now we can easily understand the effects of this.
What kind of action does the council have the right to take against any unauthorized person selling drugs in any pharmacy shop?
This is the departmental decision of the Department of Drug Administration to allow the owner and the practitioners to be different. Not an available decision of any act or regulation. Therefore, since the DDA has made its own decision, it is a matter for the DDA to decide. The DDA has the right to revoke the certificate issued by the council if it does not make the right decision.
If a pharmacist / pharmacy assistant does not engage in drug related activities in a registered pharmacy, it will affect the public health. The system of the owner and the practitioners has brought distortion in the pharmacy profession.
No Pharmacist / Pharmacy Assistant Found owner I don’t believe in registering a shop in collaboration. Because I can’t believe that a pharmacist who spends three lakh five lakhs to study pharmacy cannot run a pharmacy by investing two lakhs. Therefore, there may be a request to the DDA of other entrepreneurs.
How many pharmacists are registered with the Nepal Pharmacy Council? How many pharmacists are produced in Nepal every year?
There are currently 12,620 pharmacists in Nepal, including 8,359 at the diploma level and 4,261 at the bachelor’s level. Annually, Nepal produces 2,000 to 2,200 manpower at the diploma level and 1,000 to 1,500 manpower at the bachelor level.
Are the current manpower in Nepal adequate in proportion to the population?
Not enough No study has been done on how much manpower is needed in Nepal in proportion to the population. But this number is not enough. Because ironically, there are still more unregistered pharmacies in Nepal than registered ones.
It needs regulation. The level and speed of monitoring has not been achieved. If we leave every 10 houses in Kathmandu, we find one pharmacy shop. But if we go to Jajarkot, Rukum, Rolpa, we do not find a pharmacy run by a pharmacist. Few pharmacists operate a pharmacy.
The state regulatory body should implement arrangements to operate pharmacies on the basis of location and population. At the same time, there should be vacancies where pharmacists are needed in a policy manner.
After the implementation of federalism, now there is a local government. They also have the right to make their own laws. What should be the role of local government in using manpower while making the pharmacy profession dignified?
Local government has a big role to play. If every local and provincial government only implements the Hospital Pharmacy Guideline, the problem of unemployment, problem of efficient management, etc. will be reduced.
Failed to implement the policy decisions and directives have made by expert pharmacist? The number of posts to be opened by the state is not open.
Note: This post is taken from Swasthyakhabarpatrika.