Punjab govt to relax conditions for sale licences introduced as part of Amended Drug Policy 2019

The government of Punjab has accepted the demands of the state chemist and druggist association (PCA) and relaxed the conditions for sale licences introduced as part of the Amended Drug Policy (ADP) 2019. Capitulating to the demands of the traders that the government should withdraw from insisting installation of biometric system by medical shop owners to record daily attendance of registered pharmacists/competent persons in the shops, the state health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu has agreed to the PCA that the provision would be scrapped from the ADP and it will not be insisted. The new drug policy had further mandated that the daily attendance of the pharmacist should be uploaded on the website of the department and payment for his services should be routed through bank accounts or through any other approved source. These rules will also be removed from the ADP, according to sources. On November 18, the health minister called a meeting of traders at the Directorate of Health Systems in Sector 34 in Chandigarh and listened to the demands and grievances made by Punjab Chemists Association. The minister assured immediate solutions to all their demands, said Surinder Duggal, president of PCA. As per the agreements, wholesale licenses would be issued to persons having 10 years experience in distribution of drugs. Retail licenses will be granted to any pharmacy course (from D Pharm to Pharm D) passed persons who want to enter into medicine business. The wholesale licence will be for super-distributorship only. Any trader having ten years experience in wholesale can apply for the wholesale licence. It was further decided that if a partner of a business firm wishes to separate himself from the partnership, other partners will be given drug licence to continue the business provided they have five years continuance (standing) in the partnership. The condition specified in the ADP was that if a firm is dissolved or split or ceased to exist, then the individual partner will have no claim for grant of wholesale licenses except the parent firm. The amended drug policy of Punjab FDA, which came into force in April this year, stated that the drug control department would grant wholesale and retail sale licences based on the number of population in a particular area. The policy had limited the number of retail licences to a population of 5,000 in urban area and 2,500 in rural. For each additional licence, the same number of increase in population was required for both in urban and village areas. If there were no increase in population, the department would not grant additional sale licences.

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