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SC Restore PIL Before Patna HC: ‘Allowing Fake Pharmacists to run Medical Stores will be Like Playing with Life of Citizens’

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Supreme Court LAW INSIDER

Savvy Thakur

Published on: 30 November 2022 at 18:17 IST

The Supreme Court stated that the Pharmacy Council and the State Government are responsible for ensuring that hospitals, medical stores, etc., are only run by registered pharmacists and not by fake pharmacists.

The bench of Justices MR Shah and MM Sundresh made the observation during the restoration of a Public Interest Litigation that had been brought before the Patna High Court and raised this issue.

They said that operating hospitals and pharmacies without a registered pharmacist, operating such hospitals with a fake pharmacist, or even operating medical stores with a fake pharmacist and without even a pharmacist will ultimately have an impact on the health of the citizen.

In a Public Interest Litigation that he had filed with the Patna High Court, Mukesh Kumar alleged that in various Govt.

People who are not registered pharmacists are permitted to perform the duties of a pharmacist in hospitals. Even the staff nurses, clerks, and other personnel at time have been given a task that can only be done by registered pharmacists, according to the plea.

The Bihar State Pharmacy Council established a fact-finding committee and submitted its report to the State Government, according to the High Court’s ruling on this petition.

The court had also made it clear that the Bihar State Pharmacy Council can only register people who are eligible and meet the necessary requirements.

The Apex Court bench made the observation at the previous hearing of the Special Leave Petition against this judgment that by allowing fake pharmacists to operate medical stores and/or play with the lives of citizens.

It was observed that the state should have been vigilant in order to curb and stop the fake pharmacists.

While deciding the appeal, the bench noted that the writ petition raised serious concerns about the citizen’s life and health.

“The citizen’s health will ultimately be negatively impacted if hospitals and pharmacies are operated without a registered pharmacist, by a fake pharmacist, or even by medical stores operated without a pharmacist.”

While granting the appeal and returning the PIL to the High Court, the bench stated, “The State Government and the Bihar State Pharmacy Council cannot be allowed to play with the health and life of the citizen.”

The court instructed the High Court to request a comprehensive report or counter from the State of Bihar and the Bihar State Pharmacy Council regarding:

  • the number of government-run hospitals, medical stores, and private hospitals that are run by unregistered pharmacists or by fake pharmacists;
  • Whether the Bihar State Pharmacy Council’s fact-finding committee report, which was supposed to be sent to the State Government, has received any attention from the government?
  • If the writ petition is true, are there any bogus pharmacists?
  • If the State Government or the Bihar State Pharmacy Council take any action against the fake pharmacist,
  • v) Whether or not the Pharmacy Practice Regulations of 2015 are being adhered to throughout the entirety of the State of Bihar.