Health ministry to amend Rule 65 of D&C to replace ‘Chemists & Druggists’ with ‘Pharmacy’

In order to give retail trade a better professional recognition, the Union health ministry will soon amend Rule 6515b and Rule 6515c of Drugs and Cosmetics D&C Rules, to replace ‘Chemists & Druggists’ with ‘Pharmacy’. Once the amendment is done, all the medical shops in the country will be called as Pharmacy.

This is also in concurrence with the international practice of calling a medical shop selling medicines by this name and also provide an identity and sense of value to the practicing pharmacists at the outlets.  This matter was deliberated in the 55th Drug Consultative Committee DCC meeting held in February 2019 and it was recommended to replace the words ‘Chemists and Druggists’ with ‘Pharmacy’ in Rule 6515b of the D&C Rules, 1945.

Accordingly, the proposal was placed before the Drug Technical Advisory Board DTAB for deliberation. DTAB deliberated the matter and agreed to amend Rule 6515 of the D&C Rules, 1945 to provide that all licensees in Form 20 and Form 21, they should display the word “Pharmacy”.  

As per Rule 6515b of the D&C Rules, the description “Chemists and Druggists” shall be displayed by those licensees who employ the services of a registered pharmacist but who do not maintain a “Pharmacy” for compounding against prescriptions.

Similarly in Rule 6515c of the D&C Rules, the description “Pharmacy”, “Pharmacist”, “Dispensing Chemist” or “Pharmaceutical Chemist” shall be displayed by such licensees who employ the services of a registered pharmacist and maintain a “Pharmacy” for compounding against prescription.

However, in the current scenario, the compounding of medicines by registered pharmacists hardly exists in the country. The term ‘Chemists and Druggists’ was coined in 1945 and is quite old and has lost relevance and also, at present the word ‘drug’ is looked upon as more clandestine and as addiction for chemicals, hence does not suit to refer a professional pharmacist.

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