Date: 07-Jan-2020

AIOCD seeks amendments in Pharmacy Act, 1948 to ensure hassle free renewal of pharmacists' licences in J&K

The All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD), an apex body representing over 8.5 lakh chemists and druggists across India, has urged the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to carry out requisite amendments in Pharmacy Act, 1948 to ensure that all pharmacists registered under Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011 would continue and be registered under the proposed J and K Pharmacy Council. The Jammu and Kashmir health and medical education department is likely to constitute state pharmacy council under section 19 of Pharmacy Act, 1948 which came into force in the Union territory of J and K with effect from October 31, 2019 in the wake of promulgation of Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Order 2019 and from this date only those applicants who possess the qualification in terms of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 can be registered as pharmacists. Since many pharmacists have been registered under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011 on the basis of matriculation qualification which is not recognized under the Central Act as such their registrations cannot be renewed under the Pharmacy Act,1948. In order to address this issue, the health and medical education department of Jammu and Kashmir has been asked to take up the matter with government of India for making specific amendment in the Act to safeguard the interests of pharmacists registered under Jammu & Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011 on the basis of matriculation qualification by taking an administrative decision and consider keeping a provision of breathing period of three years to such license holders (under the repealed Act) to attain eligibility under the provisions of the Central Act, in view of the fact that non-renewal of such licenses would result in closure of all establishments which may lead to chaos and the license holders would be left without a source of livelihood. In terms of Clause (14) of Jammu and Kashmir Re-organization (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019 the certificates obtained/registration affected under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011 shall be deemed to be valid under corresponding provisions of the Central Pharmacy Act, 1948 till the date of their expiry. However, the renewal of these registrations/certificates is a subsequent action which can not be effected under the Pharmacy Act, 1948 unless the applicants possess the qualification prescribed under the said Act. Said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of AIOCD, steps need to be taken to prepare first register of pharmacists registered under Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011 as per sub-section(1) of section-30 of Pharmacy Act, 1948. It will help all pharmacists registered under Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act renew their licences in future without hindrances.