HYDERABAD:For a mild or high fever, vomiting or any such other minor ailment, people seek medical advice from medical shop owners and buy the suggested medicines.
But pharmacists have, of late, stopped dispensing some drugs without prescription following the crackdown by the Telangana Drug Control Administration on those selling Schedule H and H1 drugs without prescription. Many drugs such as antibiotics, anti-cancer, painkillers, and those used for vomiting and loose motion fall under the Scheduled category.
This situation is being resented by some people who point out that it is not possible to carry prescription every time they go out to buy medicines for small ailments. In times of emergency, it will not be possible to approach a doctor for prescription, they reason.
In protest against the action taken by the Drug Control Administration (DCA) which led to closure of more than 500 shops for 10 days, the Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association announced on Monday that 25,000 medical shops across the state would be shut for a day on September 28.
It is learnt that DCA officials held a meeting with The Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association to dissuade them from enforcing bandh but it produced no breakthrough.
Undeterred, the DCA is bent on continuing its drive and implementing the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules which clearly state that Schedule-H1 drugs cannot be sold by retailers without the prescription of a registered medical practitioner.
DCA officials, while agreeing that carrying prescription is not always practical and that the practice is not ingrained in people, they say drugs for anticancer and antibiotics should be sold strictly on prescription.
“One or two tablets for vomiting or loose motions may be sold in case of emergency but not the entire medicine strip. Seeking a medical help would always be wise,” says an official on the condition of anonymity.
The official adds that if fever subsides if a particular medicine is taken, a patient asks for the same at pharmacies again. “This practice is dangerous, as a doctor, the medical practitioner might suggest a milder antibiotic,” he explains.
But people are sceptical. “In the past three months my brother has had up high fever twice, suffered from loose motions at the dead of night and lost all energy. I went to a 24/7 medical store, bought medicines which partly controlled his problem. Such a first-aid would not have been possible now. ,” says Shailendra who bought medicines at a store in Himayatnagar.
Meanwhile, the Greater Hyderabad Retail Medical Shops Association has said as they are not allowed to dispense Schedule-H and H1 drugs without prescription, the DCA should to give them a list of medicines which cure fevers, loose motions, and other common ailments and not fall under the Scheduled drugs list.