Health Ministry releases National Pharmacy Commission Bill draft, seeks comments

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Indian Medical Services

The Union Health Ministry has released the draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023, which seeks to repeal the Pharmacy Act of 1948 and replace the Pharmacy Council of India with a national commission.

The ministry put up the draft bill on its website on November 14 seeking comments from the public.

The proposed bill aims to provide for a pharmacy education system that improves access to quality and affordable pharmacy or pharmaceutical education, ensures availability of adequate and high-quality pharmacy professionals in all parts of the country, promotes equitable and universal healthcare, and makes services of pharmacy professionals

accessible to all citizens.

The draft bill calls for a periodic and transparent assessment of pharmacy institutions, facilitating maintenance of a pharmacy register for India, and enforcing high ethical standards in all aspects of pharmacy services.

It also encourages pharmacy professionals to adopt latest pharmacy research in their work and to contribute to research. The draft bill proposes flexibility to adapt to changing needs and seeks to set up an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

According to the draft, the Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board will maintain a National Pharmacy Register which will have details of pharmacy professionals to ensure transparency.