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Chandigarh: If you are planning to open a drug store of yours, then be ready to go through a grueling procedure. Punjab has unveiled stricter guidelines for grant of retail sale and wholesale drug licences.
The new policy, which came into effect on May 1, makes it mandatory for one wholesale drug shop to cater at least five retail shops.
Villages and small towns where retail sale chemists are less than 10, no licenses for the wholesale of drugs will be granted.
The policy puts greater responsibility on the licensing authority and the drug inspectors, while processing the grant of new licenses and their renewal.
It says that they have to satisfy first if there is really a need for the grant of new licenses in a particular area, and if there is, then the applicant is fulfilling the eligibility criteria or not.
Even after that the process becomes more stringent. All the applications for the wholesale drug licenses shall be scrutinised and verified by a committee of three Assistant Drug Controllers.
The application will then be forwarded to Drug Inspectors of respective district for verification and the inspection of the premises and the required infrastructure. Once the district authorities complete their inspection, they will submit their report to the licensing authority, which will take the final call on granting of licenses.
For establishing a retail sale shop in a village, the population must be above 1,500. In case the above criterion is not met, a retail shop can be considered if there is a government or private health institution or the village is situated in a remote area not having access to any medical shop within two kilometers.
In a village with a primary health centre, not more than three retail shop licences will be granted.
The new policy has been submitted the Drug Controlling and Licensing Authority to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The stricter guidelines come in the wake of acceptance by the authority that guidelines for the grant of licenses were non-existent and complaints had been received from various quarters in that regard.