Pakistan Pharmacist Association (PPA) Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa chapter has urged the KP provincial govt to implement the changes made in the outdated Drug Rules 1982 by the previous PTI led provincial govt with letter and spirit. A press release has been issued in this regard by the association officer bearer which demanded of the govt not to leave the ailing people of the province at the mercy of non-profession and unqualified people.
Dr Ihsan secretary PPA KP in the statement said that the previous KP govt had made some imperative changes in the KP drug rules 1982 to provide relief to general public from spurious and substandard medicine which are being provided at medical stores throughout the province but later on the amended drug rules has not been implemented due to the pressure exerted by the chemists mafia on the govt.
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As per the amendments the medical stores owner were directed to ensure the presence of university qualified “category A pharmacist” in the medical stores and the drug/medicine shall always be supplied to the people under the supervision of qualified pharmacists, who will also be responsible to educate the public about the safe and efficacious used of medicine at the time of dispensing because the medicine which, if not taken as per instructions will not produce the required effects and may convert into a toxic substance within the body and causes toxicity to the patients.
The authorities in the health care establishment also want to control the sale of spurious and without warranty drugs in Pakistan, which is a most chronic issue existing in our country and all over the world, especially in third world countries. The menace of spurious and non-warranty drugs is routed down in the majority of medical stores and pharmacies as well as the private hospital where the role of qualified category A pharmacist is neglected.
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It’s worth to mention that a new schedule had been introduced in the drug amended rules 2017 by the name of Schedule G which consisted of narrow therapeutic index drugs. These are those medicines which if not taken without the proper guidance of a qualified “category A pharmacist” may produce severe side effects and in many cases may lead to the death of the patients.
As per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) several thousand people lost their lives every year due to adverse drug interactions (ADR) and improper administration of the drug without taking the precautionary measures into account. It is considered that ADR is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. In Pakistan where the irrational prescription is abundant in clinical setups, the chances of death and severe medical injuries during treatment would be many folds higher than the developed countries.
The previous PTI led KP provincial govt, due to the pressure from so-called chemist and druggist association has not implementing their own decision which was taken in the larger interest of the people and with a pledge to free the province from the menace of spurious, substandard and counterfeit drugs and deferred the implementation of the amended drug rules 2018 has been deferred till 2020.
The chemist association is of the opinion that the changes made in the rules are unnecessary and there is no need of a qualified university graduated Pharmacist (category A Pharmacist) to run the affairs of a medical store/ Pharmacy and to provide medicine to the public. They said the amended drug rules 2017 if implemented will render thousands of people jobless and the business of the people will be adversely affected. During the previous year, the chemist druggist association also observed a province-wide strike in this regard.
PPA opinion about the amendments in Drug Rules 1982
Pakistan Pharmacist Association (PPA) has strongly supported the landmark amendments introduced in the drug rules 1982. The PPA didn’t support the strike call of the chemists association and provided services to the ailing humanity during the so-called strike. PPA also took out rallies, arranged demonstrations and press conferences, in favour of these amendments throughout the province. Secretary PPA Dr Ihsan ensured the govt that the Pharmacists community throughout the country supports the decision of the previous govt and urged the present PTI led govt not to show any leniency in this regard and do not succumb to pressure from the chemist mafia.
Role of students in support of amendments in Drug Rules 1982
Students enrolled in Pharmacy departments of different universities of KP also supported the Pakistan Pharmacist Association (PPA) in this regard and joined them in their protest in favour of the amendments in Drug Rules 1982. The student community also arranged seminars and conferences in their respective departments and played an effective role and created awareness in public about this sensitive issue.
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He resolved that we will fully support the govt in case of an emergency, as we did in the past and will provide our services free of cost for the benefit of the ailing people of this province.
It is worth mentioning here that the medical stores and Pharmacies throughout Pakistan are being run by matriculates have either no education in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences or having a very low level of diploma ie category B, which is obtained after matric. This level of education (diploma) cannot be compared with the education of category A Pharmacists who obtained a degree from recognized universities after studying for almost 6 years. Apart from this, a candidate intends to get admission in any university conducting pharmacy D degree program must have at least 60% marks in FSc.