Pharmacists and their registration

I nstead of resolving emerging issues and problems, the tradition of the officialdom to sit over the proposals and keep in abeyance the decision making process adds to more problems and creates confusion. When it is the question of those Pharmacists who are in Government service and those who are pursuing Medical Assistant /Pharmacist courses from the recognised institutions, the issue about not according registration by Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Council looks intriguing. The generating of uncertainties in respect of the career of thousands of such persons connected with Medical pharmacist profession and courses, is a cause of concern. It looks strange that there should be no mutual understanding between J&K State Para Medical Council, Health and Medical Education Department and its Administrative Department in respect of deciding the fate of the proposal of registration as also on issues needing more clarification or on those already clarified. The role and importance of Pharmacists being of no mean utility as they, by the very nature of their profession, contribute in good measure towards the ailing and others in reaping benefits from access to safe, effective and qualitative and affordable medicines. They have a larger role to play in medical technologies too not to speak of ensuring normal traditional pharmaceutical care. If their extended role in being instrumental in checking and preventing sale of the sub-standard and spurious medicines as also checking yawning gaps between their retail prices and roll out or manufactured prices is not noticed, the blame rests squarely on the administrative system. Having said all that, it is beyond comprehension as to what keeps the concerned authorities from taking a decision in respect of arranging registration by Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Council. As per reports, there are more than 2400 Medical Assistants cum Pharmacists in Government service and another 15000 who either have completed or are on the threshold of completing the requisite courses and the institutions through which the courses are pursued being duly recognised by the J&K State Para Medical Council, whom should they approach and who from the Government was going to make them acquainted with their likely fate, is not known to them. Such a situation which smacks of not only the Government inaction but the confusion sweeping the decision making process needs to be cleared at the earliest. When Pharmacy Council of India (FCI) has cleared the mist and some confusion over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act repealed under the provisions of the J&K Reorganisation Act 2019 in the sense in agreeing to forward the requisite proposal for insertion of Section 32c in the Central Pharmacy Act 1948 to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, why should the UT Department of Health and Medical Education feel any reluctance or have objections so as to take care of persons registered under the old and gone Pharmacy Act? In fact, the confusion has arisen due to replacement of J&K Pharmacy Act by the Central Pharmacy Act, the Pharmacy Act of 1948 having become applicable to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and only those institutions which are approved ones are eligible for registration which have B Pharma or D Pharma courses so as to be allow the profession and practice of pharmacy to be carried out by the eligible candidates. In fact, as already reported earlier in respect of giving one time exemption to Pharmacists including thousands of chemists and druggists across the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh who were on the brink of closing their outlets, Pharmacy Council of India had agreed to include special provisions in respect of those persons who were registered under the repealed J&K Pharmacy Act. We appreciate that apex body regulating education and profession of pharmacy across the country the PCI being all flexible and accommodative and disapprove the impediments at the UT levels in the Health and Medical Education Department in respect of granting registration and thus keeping the fate of thousands hanging in balance? Instead of generating and protecting the existing employed ones, whether in Government service or otherwise, the UT Government should try to end the stalemate and virtual trauma faced by the concerned pharmacists so that the avoidable uncertainty and confusion about the issue of registration is resolved.