COVID-related drug purchase: Govt. cracks whip on medical stores
COVID-19, News

COVID-related drug purchase: Govt. cracks whip on medical stores

May 22, 2020

Mandatory for pharmacies to record and report details of patients who purchase cold, fever medicines

Mysore/Mysuru: In the wake of rising Coronavirus cases, State authorities have made it mandatory for medical shops and pharmacists to keep a record of phone number and address of customers who buy medicines for fever, cough and cold or symptoms similar to COVID-19.

Every evening pharmacists have to upload the details of such drug purchase in an app developed by State Disaster Management Authority. Any failure or lapse by the medical stores will lead to suspension of licence.

Sources told ‘Star of Mysore’ that State Chief Secretary T.M. Vijayabhaskar held a meeting via video-conference with all District Drugs Controllers and asked them to ensure that all medical stores and pharmacies mandatorily upload the details of buyers purchasing medicines for fever, cough and common cold.

The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 states that that Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severely Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases, whose symptoms are similar to that of COVID-l9 should be screened at the initial stages of symptoms to arrest morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 in the community.

The drugs are broadly categorised as pertaining to the treatment of symptoms like fever (Antipyretics and Anti-inflammatory), cold (Antiallergic) and cough (Anti-tussive). The drugs could be Paracetamol, Paracetamol of all dosage and strength, cetirizine, chlorpheniramine etc., and all types of cough syrups. The drugs either individually or in any combination are included.

Chemists, druggists and pharmacies in hospitals have to make an entry of the name, address, landmark and mobile number of all the persons who are provided the above drugs over the counter. Later, an app was developed for medical stores to upload daily data.

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Following complaints that medical stores are not uploading data, the State Government has now tightened the rules and has warned of action against medical stores including suspension of licences. There are more than 1,300 medical stores and pharmacies in Mysuru and only 200 to 220 stores are reporting the drug sale data in the app, sources told ‘Star of Mysore.’

Reports said that the Assistant Drugs Controller of Bidar has already suspended the licences of three medical stores in Bidar for not furnishing sale details of COVID-19 related drugs and not reporting all the details of patients for sale of drugs.

“Some people suffering from fever or cold symptoms which might be similar to Coronavirus are approaching the medical shops directly and asking for medicines. It is imperative that in a proactive manner the authorities must follow up on these cases. This will prevent the community spread, opined N. Raghavan of Raghulal and Co. in Mysuru.

Several people were buying medicines without prescriptions from doctors and a record of those who have been doing so for Coronavirus symptoms will help authorities combat the outbreak better, Raghavan added.

Deputy Drugs Controller of Mysuru Arun Kumar told ‘SOM’ that meetings have been conducted with all medical shops and pharmacists including respective associations and instructions have been given to them to necessarily take the contact address and phone numbers of customers who approach them to buy these medicines. “Initially there was some issue but we have sorted them now and pharmacies are uploading details in the app as mandated by the Government,” he added.

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