The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tuesday dispelled rumours of compulsory prescription for all medicines, clarifying that only a few regulated drugs will require mandatory prescription.
“We have been receiving queries from chemists’ associations whether they have to ask customers for prescription of even off-the-counter medicines. Such news is false,” said Mahesh Zagade, FDA commissioner.
Only certain medicines such as cough syrup and major drugs have a label indicating that they require a prescription. However, normal pills like those for headaches do not need a prescription.
While FDA confirmed that not all medicines need a prescription, it will continue to take strict action against chemists who do not comply with compulsory prescription for certain drugs. With a string of notices being sent to various chemists, another protest is being planned from December 16 to December 18 by various chemist associations.
Last month, a one-day strike was called by Retail and Dispensing Chemists Association(RDCA) and few smaller groups. However, this time the strike will extend to three days.
“We will hold a round of meetings on December 12 to resolve this issue. Even if the chemists continue to strike, public dispensaries and hospitals will remain open,” Zagade said. He said FDA officials have earlier taken action against chemists who had participated in the strike. In case the proposed strike continues, they will adopt similar measures, he added.