The Union Health Ministry of India has released the National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023. The proposed bill was announced on November 20 and the ministry has invited comments from the public and stakeholders. The ministry will repeal the Pharmacy Act, 1948 once the new act will be passed. The draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry for public comments. The new National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023 focusses on enhancing the education on pharmacy, making it affordable for everyone. It also seek to ensure that everyone has equal and affordable access to healthcare services in the country.
Once the comments and reactions from the public and stakelholders will be recived, the ministry will make changes to the draft bill in accordance with the popular demands. The committee for the bill also plans to set up a grievance redressal mechanism that could help in resolving their issues in case of any problem. The Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board will be in charge of maintaing the National Pharmacy Register. This exercise is aimed to gather all the details of professionals dealing in the field of pharmacy in order to ensure transparency and accountability.
Previously, the Pharmacy Act, 1948 had the purpose of regulating the prefession of pharmacy. It had similar objectives, which including minimum standard of pharmacy education, maintaining education regulations, uniform implementation of the educational standards, inspection of pharmacy institutions, among others. The act also included a Central Register of Pharmacists which had similar function to the National Pharmacy Register. Under Section 3 of the Pharmacy Act, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) was constituted in August 1949.