Punjab Pharmacy Council has allegedly started producing quack pharmacists by opening a ‘category C’ for the last many years which is sheer encroachment in the pharmacy profession. This is a depraved attempt and does not make any sense in the 21st century. Once these quacks pharmacists come into the field, they may play havoc with the lives and health of the common man. The Pakistan Pharmacist Association has also become a silent spectator and turned away from this situation and joined hands with anti-pharmacist groups.

Instead of playing a concrete role and getting amendments in the Pharmacy Act 1967 in place, it seems to have become part of this heinous crime of degrading the pharmacy profession. If registered graduate pharmacists are not available, the practice in other parts of the developed world is that they shut down their pharmacy.

Thousands of pharmacists are passing every year from universities in the public as well as the private sector and there is no shortage of pharmacists in the country. It is a pity that pharmacists getting a five-year rigorous education to qualify for Pharm.D degree are registered with their respective Provincial Pharmacy Council along with matriculate equivalents who appear for assistant pharmacists without any regular training. Nearly 50 years have passed and no change has been made to the Pharmacy Act 1967. This shows that we do not want to keep abreast with the latest taking place in the profession. The Pharmacy Act 1967 was last amended in 1973. A big issue involved in the healthcare system today is the rational use of drugs which could only be ascertained if a registered graduate pharmacist ensures its authenticity at a pharmacy outlet. Pharmacists find no other option but to leave the country and go where they are given due status and respect. People at the helm of affairs are not ready to appreciate and differentiate the gravity of the situation. I request the federal government to immediately make amendments in the Pharmacy Act 1967, which have already been passed by all the four provinces, and take action against those responsible for creating this mess by exploiting and misusing the outdated Pharmacy Act 1967 for vested interests.

FAROOQ,

Lahore, November 15.