If you have ever taken a glance at the surroundings of a medical store, chances are that you may have spotted a display of phone numbers of Drug Inspectors (DIs) inviting customers to call in case of complaints.
Though a good measure to help counter spurious drugs, DI’s in the State have been swamped with phone calls for things as trivial as tardy customer service, besides serious issues as well.
“A lot of people call us complaining that a drug store keeper is not giving them a discount or that a medical shop did not open. What are we supposed to do in these kind of cases,” laments a DI.
Officials of Drugs Control Administration (DCA) also say that they get calls from people demanding Schedule - H drugs whose sale is not allowed without prescription according to the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
“People call us complaining that the store keepers are not issuing them drugs which come under the category of Schedule -H like Sildenafil Citrate, a sexual potency improving drug, though they do not have a prescription. Unmonitored long term usage of the drug leads to severe health complications,” explains a newly appointed DI.
Speaking about objective of the system, B L Meena, Director General, Drugs Control Administration (DCA), Andhra Pradesh informs, “The phone numbers are displayed so that public can complaint if they are sold drugs which have crossed the mentioned expiry dates or if they are being over charged. We encourage people to report us if some body is selling habit forming or spurious drugs.” As much as the call traffic is good news and indicates that people are aware of the system that was reinforced by DCA for their convenience, the Director General has urged people to utilise the service to report genuine cases, adding that complaints about trivial issues will mar the purpose.
Director of DCA, P Nagabhushanam has appealed to people to cooperate with officials and not demand Schedule-H drugs without a prescription. “We request people to use the service for genuine complaints so that we can further improve the system,” Nagabushanam said.
Speaking about the issue, the newly appointed DI explained that the calls contribute to unnecessary work for them, inconveniencing them in times when there are serious complaints to be dealt with.
“I understand that if there is a system, it will be misused to an extent. We do act on the complaints and take action against erring drug store keepers, but people need to understand that complaints about trivial issues overloads us with unnecessary work,” he states.