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Health Ministry solicits public comments on National Pharmacy Commission Bill

The Centre has proposed a National Pharmacy Register with details of all pharmacy professionals as part of a draft Bill that seeks to repeal the nearly 75-year-old Pharmacy Act and replace the Pharmacy Council of India with a national commission.

The Union Health Ministry uploaded a draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023, on its website on November 10, seeking comments from the public.

The draft Bill aims to provide for a pharmacy education system that improves access to quality and affordable pharmaceutical education, ensures availability of adequate and high-quality professionals in all parts of the country, promotes equitable and universal healthcare and makes services of pharmacy professionals accessible to all citizens.

It also calls for periodic and transparent assessment of pharmacy institutions, facilitating maintenance of a pharmacy register for India and enforcing high ethical standards in all aspects of pharmacy services.

According to the draft Bill, the Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board will maintain a National Pharmacy Register, which will contain details of pharmacy professionals to ensure transparency.

“The Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board shall maintain an online and live National Pharmacy Register (NPR) containing the name, address, all recognised qualifications possessed by a pharmacy professional and such other particulars as may be specified by regulations,” according to the draft document.

The board shall make available the National Pharmacy Register to the public in the form of a digital portal accessible on the website of the Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board/Commission in such manner and form as may be specified by regulations.

The Bill also proposes that every state chapter shall maintain and regularly update, in digital form, the State Pharmacy Professional Register and the State Pharmacy Register in the specified digital format and supply a digital and physical copy to the Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board/Commission within three months of the commencement of the act.

The draft Bill also encourages pharmacy professionals to adopt the latest research in their work and to contribute to research.

It proposes flexibility to adapt to changing needs and seeks to set up an effective grievance redress mechanism. PTI

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