J&K sans Pharmacy Council:Over 300 chemists fear losing registration

Srinagar, Jan 6: More than 300 chemists are at the risk of losing registration as Union Territory administration has failed to establish Pharmacy Council for renewing drug licenses.

This follows the abolition of J&K Pharmacy Council after the state became union territory on October 31. Earlier J&K Pharmacy Council was mandated to grant registration and renew drug licenses of the chemists. However, the Council ceased to exist post October 31.

An official of Health Department said Jammu and Kashmir is yet to establish new body as per the Centre Pharmacy Act 1948.

“The Pharmacy Act is in place since November 1 when Jammu and Kashmir became Union Territory. However, there is no mechanism in place for registrations and renewals of licenses because Pharmacy Council has been abolished,” he said.

There are 25000 chemists and druggists in J&K. Licences of more than 300 pharmacists are awaiting renewals since October 31.

A medical shop owner said threat of closure looms large as their licenses have not been renewed.

 “Government should establish Pharmacy Council at the earliest in Jammu and Kashmir. There is also a fear that many pharmacists may lose registration under the central act. Under the central act, there is no provision of registration for matriculates as pharmacists,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Druggists Association said Drug Department has suggested licence holders may be given breathing time of three years till they qualify for holding license under Drug Act 1948.

Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atul Dulloo said government is establishing Pharmacy Council in 10 days. “Pharmacists can renew licenses as Pharmacy Council is being established in 10 days. New licences will be issued as per the central Act,” he said.

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