Many drug stores operating illegally

Kathmandu, September 3

Many drug stores and clinics have been found to be operating illegally for years in Kathmandu Valley.

The Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest carried out a random monitoring and inspection in some private pharmacies and clinics and caught at least 16 of them running without renewing their licences for more than three years.

MV Ployclinic and Diagnostic centre in Sinamangal has not renewed its licence for two years.

The licence issued by the Department of Drug Administration under Section 10 of the Drug Act, 1978 remains valid for two years from the date of its issuance. Each licence should be renewed within 35 days of the expiry of its validity period. The licence not renewed even within the period ipso facto becomes invalid.

According to DoSMPCI, it has sealed 10 drug stores and clinics to proceed with further action while several others have been issued warning to maintain hygiene standards, records of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Similarly, two pharmacies were found selling drugs without hiring trained and certified pharmacists.

Anyone who commits offence under the laws will be liable to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine of up to Rs 5,000 or both.

Of late, the DoSMPCI has stepped up crackdown on such pharmacies and food stores on the directives of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

The officials raided dozens of medical stores and sealed some of them either for running illegally or non-compliance with the provisions articulated in the Act.

The authorities have also been directed to expedite the pace of action against quacks and clinics found to be selling prescription, expired and banned drugs.

The monitoring and inspection also aims to prevent the misuse or abuse of drugs and allied pharmaceutical substances and control the sale, distribution, storage and consumption of unsafe drugs. The Valley has more than 3,000 drug stores.