GUWAHATI, July 12 - With the number of medical stores witnessing an increase here, the Office of the Drug Controller and Licensing said that it was planning to intensify quality-check drives and initiate action against unscrupulous elements in the medicine trade.
Official sources said that the office would not even hesitate to go to the extent of cancelling the drug sale licence if any licensee is found violating the stipulated rules.
�The number of retail medical stores has gone beyond the 1,000-mark, which is a big figure keeping in view the manpower strength of the rule-enforcing agency. However, even with the existing limitations, the office will carry out extensive drives against wrongdoers who are minting money at the cost of public health,� the sources told this reporter.
Storehouses of drug wholesalers and retailers in the city will be examined in order to monitor if they are following the existing guidelines.
�However, for effective enforcement, we need a legal cell to back our cause. Once we get the legal support, more and more detection will follow. We had written to the previous Government about it, but there was no result,� the sources added.
�At present, as per our record till June this year, as many as 1,069 retail stores are registered with us. But there are reports that many of these outlets are resorting to unfair means and even selling prescription drugs without following the stipulated rules,� the sources pointed out.
�As the market is huge and competitive in nature, many tend to fall prey to the vicious cycle of illegal drug trade. We will also check how many licence holders are actually running medicine stores,� the sources added.
The sources informed that the drives would be replicated across the State in phases as the situation is equally grim in some other parts of the State as well. At present, there are more than 6,500 medical stores in the State.
�As far as quality check of drugs is concerned, we are mandated to do that on a regular basis, especially those meant for distribution through government hospitals. In the last three years, 42 samples of such drugs were found not to be of standard quality after they were sent to laboratories for quality and composition testing,� the sources said.