Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) on Absence of qualified pharmacists shuts down 31 outlets of Apollo Pharmacy their licences following an inspection by officials in Ahmedabad. An order on February 21 came to light on Tuesday, revealed that the FDCA undertook inspections at these stores following the complaint by an NGO. After having found inconsistency in their operations, the FDCA suspended their licences and ordered them to close for temporarily, a period of three to seven business days (on different dates) this month.
A complaint with the FDCA against 46 Apollo Pharmacy outlets in the city on February 15 was filed by Members of the Gujarat Janta Jagruti Manch. Convenor of the NGO Rajnikant Solanki, said, “We have seen first-hand how these medical shops operate without a qualified pharmacist and put the lives of people in danger. So, we wrote a complaint to the authorities. We hope action is taken against the remaining 15 outlets too.”
Solanki had stated that a number of pharmacies in the city were operating in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 as well as the Pharmacy Act, 1948, was mentioned in the complaint to the FDCA. These regulations require a licenced pharmacist present at the medical store during the sale of medicines. While six stores will remain closed only for three days and two shops for 7 days, 23 pharmacies have been ordered shut for five days. Three outlets are in Naranpura, Satellite and Ghatlodia, and two shops each in Vastrapur, Chandlodia, Ranip and Makarba.
FDCA Dobariya the Assistant Commissioner from Zone 2 said, “Mostly all stores have been covered but we will see if action is needed anywhere else.” Meanwhile, Apollo spokesperson Vimal Kukadiya said, “Drug inspectors carry out regular visits. Sometimes, the registered pharmacist is out on a break. This does become an issue of noncompliance. We have now taken all necessary steps to abide by the compliance and will get only pharmacists to dispense medicine.”