The Telangana government after giving a notification by constituting the Telangana State Pharmacy Registration Tribunal as required under section 30(1) of the Pharmacy Act 1948 has prepared the first register of the pharmacists.

Bifurcation blues are back to haunt an estimated 48,000 Telangana-based pharmacists, with those who wish to continue working in the state being asked to re-register with the newly-constituted Telangana State Pharmacy Registration Tribunal (TSPRT) by April 30.

Re-registration was made mandatory after the state government named a three-member TSPRT panel — including Dr T Ushashree, G Sunitha Devi and N Anitha Grace — on March 10 to supervise the switch over of about 48,000 pharmacists from the Andhra Pradesh Pharmacy Council (APPC). This is required before the Telangana government can set up its own state pharmacy council — a 15-member body with a mix of elected and nominated members in it.

“No pharmacist holding any other state pharmacy council registration can practice in Hyderabad or in any of the Telangana districts. Those presently holding APPC registration but (who) intend to practice in Hyderabad must apply afresh for re-registration by visiting Telangana drug control administration website for details,” said Akun Sabharwal, registrar of TSPRT.

According to section 32(2) of the Pharmacy Act, 1948, the job of regulating pharmacists’ practice in the jurisdiction of Telangana automatically falls on the Telangana state pharmacy council and not the APPC.

The re-registration process requires a nominal fee of Rs 10, a photocopy of the old APPC registration certificate and a self-attested application form to be submitted to the nearest drug inspector’s office. However, sources said that those who fail to do so by April 30 may have to face a lengthy process if they want to register later.

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Meanwhile, the new rule for re-registration is likely to affect over a thousand pharmacy stores in Hyderabad that are being run by local store owners with rented pharmacy certificates from pharmacists belonging to Andhra Pradesh. “Out of 27,000 pharmacy stores in Telangana, including over 10,000 in Hyderabad, around 70 per cent of them are known to function with rented pharmacy certificates, including a few thousand certificates rented from Andhra-based registered pharmacists. The stores with Andhra-based certificate holders will the worst hit as they may not be willing to re-register with TSPRT,” said Ch Parmathma, general secretary, Telangana Pharmacists’ association.

Interestingly, for the convenience of pharmacists willing to switch over from AP to Telangana, the Telangana Pharmacists’ Association has planned to set up help desks in all district headquarters including two in Hyderabad soon.

In a statement here, Special Chief Secretary, Health, Medical and Family Welfare Rajeshwar Tiwari said that the first register has been sent for the publication in the Official Gazette which is in the process.

Simultaneously the register prepared was placed in the website of Telangana State Pharmacy Council so as to enable the entire pharmacy population to verify their names and if any queries are there, may be addressed to the Appellate Authority appointed under Section 30(4) of the Pharmacy Act 1948, he said.

He said that the register was available for sixty (60) days in the public domain for raising any grievance or objections to the appellate Authority Mr T Kailasam, Deputy Director, Drugs Control Administration, Hyderabad and or may be communicated through mail at [email protected].

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The Registrar and the members of the Telangana State Pharmacy Registration Tribunal are requesting the concerned pharmacists to utilize the service, the statement added.

A special pharmacy council for Telangana is yet to be formed even two-and-a- half years after the State formation. The council overseeing the activities in two Telugu States was shifted three months ago to Vijayawada.

Although officials stated that it would be renewed in Hyderabad this week, activities of the council have been stopped, forcing about 45,000 pharmacists of Telangana to go to Vijayawada for their renewals. These pharmacists have to face many hardships.

Meanwhile, the Telangana council is yet to take a firm shape despite steps being initiated six months back. After the council, comprising a registrar, six elected members, five nominated members, three ex-officio members is constituted, rules have to be framed.

For this, an amendment has to be made in the State Assembly. This process is likely to take about six months.

After the shifting of the council to Vijayawada, registrations and renewals of pharmacists were being done for three days in a week (Thursday to Saturday) at the old Pharmacy Council Hall at Nampally.

This was stopped on February 16 in the name of causing inconvenience to the employees. With the council being locked, a pharmacist from Warangal, Kavitha, while speaking to KhabarLive wondered what would be her fate.

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Pharmacists of Telangana, who are estimated to be about 900, are grumbling about the shifting of the council to Vijayawada, making it accessible to the residents of Andhra Pradesh.

Each B pharmacy and doctor of pharmacy-holder pays Rs.560 and each pharmacy diploma-holder pays Rs.510. Students of Telangana while pressing for the immediate launch of the council complain that already crores of rupees have been deposited into the account of AP Council.

They told KhabarLive that formation of separate council would not only benefit local candidates, but also bring revenue to the State.

Even after the tribunal for the Telangana pharmacy council has been set up some months back, it is yet to be convened. It is yet to have an office.

The tribunal has to be convened frequently to look into the matters like division of the staff, examining records, bank accounts, setting up new office, options of the staff and their accounts. It also has to secure details of the Telangana students.

An officer, Shankar, told KhabarLive that there is an immediate need to constitute the Telangana Pharmacy Council to benefit about 45,000 pharmacists of the State.

The process of constituting the tribunal should be completed at least now so as to avoid travel to Vijayawada by the State pharmacists.

Failing this, the process of renewals should be taken up in Hyderabad for the benefit of local candidates, demands Telangana pharmacists. #KhabarLive

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