As part of its efforts to regulate the sale of drugs and ensure their quality, the Tamil Nadu Drugs Control Administration has taken action against more than 900 establishments, among them medical shops, wholesale dealers and manufacturers, in the last two years.
Officials said there were 471 prosecution cases from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, and 482 cases from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. These were for violations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945, Drug Price Control Order 2013 and Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
Of them, there were 370 cases against medical shops and wholesale dealers in 2016-17 and 369 in 2017-18. There were a total of 170 cases against manufacturers in the last two years. “Medical shops face action for violations, such as sale of drugs without prescription, absence of supervision by a pharmacist and non-maintenance of prescription register. There are many cases of sale of drugs without issuing cash/credit memos and without a prescription from a registered medical practitioner,” said K. Sivabalan, Director of Drugs Control.
Non-maintenance of purchase record for drugs sold or drugs stocked for sale also invite prosecution, he said, adding, “Wholesale dealers supplying medicines to doctors should have a written order and also maintain a purchase record.”
The Department takes action against manufacturers for sub-standard drugs. “We draw samples of drugs supplied to the government. We take action on the manufacturers if the drugs fail the test for quality,” he said.
These violations are found during inspections by drug inspectors. “Each inspector should conduct 50 inspections a month and draw a minimum of seven samples. These samples are tested in our laboratory. If found to be of sub-standard quality, we investigate the matter,” he said.
Apart from this, officials also look out for misleading advertisements for drugs. “As per the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, we can take action for false advertisements.
During 2016-2017, 15 cases were booked for misleading advertisements, while 13 were booked during 2017-2018,” he said.