GUWAHATI, June 23 - At a time when medicinal drug abuse, especially among youths, is taking an alarming shape, acute manpower shortage in the office of the Drugs Controller continues to add to the public health woes in Assam.
As per a report, as many as 12 districts of Assam, excluding the newly�created ones, still do not have a single drug inspector posted. This is at a time, when distribution of sub-standard medicinal drugs has become a major source of problem across the country, including Assam.
The Police Department too had from time to time expressed serious concern over the sale of illegal sale of prescription drugs by medical stores.
In fact, in a recent meeting chaired by the Director General of Assam Police, which was also attended by top bureaucrats and the Superintendents of Police of all the districts, the menace of medicinal drug abuse was discussed threadbare
In fact, in the last four years, over 40 samples of medicinal drugs manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies and meant for public supply were found to be of sub-standard quality during their routine testing at the Central Drug Laboratory in the State.
The districts which do not have a drug inspector posted despite sanctioning of the said post include Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Nalbari, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri, Kamrup, Darrang, Karbi Anglong and Sivasagar.
�There are senior drug inspectors who are looking after three to four districts at a time. However, with the number of pharma stores going up very passing year, a firm control over these retailers is still a far cry,� sources told this reporter.
�To be able to ensure effective control over the system, the sanctioned posts have to be filled up at the earliest. The current scenario is not only making the existing officials overburdened, but is also giving safe passage to the wrongdoers, who are making money out of the it ( selling drug illegally) ,� the source said.
The State at present has 6,500 retail pharmacies, of which 1,069 are in Guwahati itself.