Raids on errant pharmacies hampered by lack of Inspectors


by Don Asoka Wijewardena

Most private pharmacies employ unqualified personnel to dispense drugs and this could endanger the lives of patients, the Health Ministry warned. It said qualified pharmacists must be employed to oversee the dispensation of drugs.

The Cosmetic Devises and Drug Control Authority, which has powers to conduct raids on pharmacies, cannot fulfil its obligations due to a shortage of Food and Drug Inspectors to conduct raids, Health Ministry sources said.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Ajith Mendis told The Island that he had been aware of the problem and specifically instructed all Provincial and Regional Health Directors to conduct raids on such pharmacies and prosecute the culprits.

Gampaha Regional Director of Health Services Dr. Linton Padmasiri said that he had received many complaints on the sale of drugs by unqualified personnel and he had deployed five inspectors to conduct raids. He admitted that the number of Food and Drug Inspectors had been insufficient and it was one of the reasons why pharmacy owners persisted in employing unqualified personnel.


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