Harshadeep Kamble, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra on Saturday, while talking to reporters after a meeting with the representatives of Associations of Wholesale & Retail Chemists, said that the chemists had been asked to keep swine flu medicines in stock.
Hospitals in Maharashtra, both government and semi-government, have sufficient stock of swine flu drugs which are available for free, he informed. “Considering the seriousness of swine flu in Maharashtra, we have taken certain steps. There are about 1,191 retailers and wholesalers who have the permission to stock and sell medicines for swine flu.
Nagpur has in all 85 chemists who have this license. The list of these medical stores that hold license to stock schedule X drug is also displayed on fda.maharashtra.gov.in.
“All these licensees should invariably keep the medicines in stock. The list of these 1,191 licensees is uploaded on the website ‘xlnindia.Gov.In’,” he said.
Kamble had told the Retailers and Dispensing Chemists Association, Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggists Association and Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association to ask their members to coordinate with the district-level FDA officers to make the medicines available.
Kamble said he had also directed all the joint commissioners at the divisional level to give necessary licences for stocking the swine flu drugs to the hospitals holding a general drug licence.
“The drugs used in treatment of swine flu are covered under schedule X of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945 and separate license is required to sell them….Hence these drugs are not available in all medical stores,” the FDA commissioner said.
However, Kamble also said that swine flu drugs can be bought only with a doctor’s prescription. “All the doctors are requested to write the prescriptions in generic names also. Self-medication and unnecessary use of swine flu drugs may cause drug resistance,” the FDA chief warned.
He added, “If patients find it difficult to procure these drugs, they may contact FDA Maharashtra, on helpline 1800222365 to get the information about availability in nearby medical stores.”