24October2017

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Doctor Can be Punished for Selling Medicines to Public

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  Query: "According to Drugs and Cosmetics Act, can a doctor who has a private practice, have a pharmacy shop in the premises where he practices? If not, then what are the punishments for a doctor if he does so?”

Answer: According to Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940, and Drugs & Cosmetics Rules 1945, no person shall himself or by any other person on his behalf sell, or stock, or exhibit, or offer for sale, or distribute, any drug except under and in accordance with the condition of a license issued for such purpose under the Act. No person has a right to purchase and sell the drug from his premises without a license. The possession of drugs for sale without a valid license would be illegal.

The Doctors/Registered Medical Practitioners of Modern Scientific System of Medicines only can stock or dispense Allopathic Drugs/Medicines to their own patients provided the Doctor/Registered Medical Practitioner is not keeping an open shop or selling across the counter or engaged in the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of the drugs. The Doctors/Registered Medical Practitioners shall purchase the drugs only from a dealer or manufacturer licensed under the Rules, and records of such purchase showing the names and quantities of such drugs, together with their batch number and names and addresses of the manufacturer and the names of his patients to whom he has dispensed or administered the drugs, shall be maintained in a register open to inspection by an Inspector under the Act. Doctors/Registered Medical Practitioners can purchase the drugs according to requirements of his patients only.

Doctor/Registered Medical Practitioner has no right to establish a pharmacy shop in his clinic for sale the drugs to the General Public/Out Patients. Doctors/Registered Medical Practitioners has to dispense the medicine to his patients by himself or through a qualified compounder or Registered Pharmacist.

If a Doctor/Registered Medical Practitioner sells the drugs from his shop situated in his clinic without a valid license, he is liable to be prosecuted under section 18(a)(i) punishable under section 27(b)(ii) and liable to be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may be extended to five years and with fine which shall be not less than one lakh rupees or three times of the value of the drugs confiscated, which ever is more, and if the drugs are found adulterated or spurious then he is also liable for imprisonment mentioned under section 27(a), 27(b)(i), 27(c) and 27(d) as the case may be.

RAMESH CHAND, ADVOCATE
Nationally acclaimed  expert on Drugs
and Cosmetics Act (1940)