‘Unregistered chemist shops mushrooming in Valley’

JAMMU:  More cases of unregistered and unlicensed pharmacies have surfaced in last three years, the government said on Monday.
It said the Kashmir valley has witnessed more growth of unlicensed and unregistered pharmacies than Jammu region.
Despite government of India’s directions to stop issuing licenses for chemist shops in 2001, the J&K government, however, continued to issue the licenses. J&K does not have any Paramedical Council to regulate issuance of licenses.
Several hospitals and nursing homes functioned in the state without following the norms, Minister in-charge Health Omar Abdullah said in its written reply to a query in the Legislative Assembly.
“In Kashmir’s 10 districts, 143 pharmacies selling drugs illegally were closed down since 2010 while only 15 such pharmacies were shut down in three districts of Jammu division,” Abdullah said.
The government said it had sealed three private hospitals and nursing homes—Mehmooda Shaheen Medical Trust at Tulsi Bagh in Srinagar, G M Bhat Charitable Hospital at Wathora, and Al-Aziz Hospital at Khayam, Srinagar—as they failed to fulfill the prescribed criteria.
The government said it had authorized designated authorities headed by the Deputy Director at the divisional level and Chief Medical Officers at the district level for inspection and surprise visits of the private hospitals.
“They have been authorized to ascertain whether the nursing homes operating in the state were fulfilling the necessary norms or not,” it added.