The Health Ministry today said it will take stringent action against pharmacists if medicine is sold without a medical prescription or if medicine that is not been prescribed is sold to customers at higher prices.
Ministry officials said that if pharmacy owners do not adhere to the new rules a Rs.300,000 fine or a one year jail term will be put into force. The Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Act will be amended to this effect.
Officials said Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena had advised the Director of the National Cosmetic Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority, Dr. Hemantha Benaragama to take measures to amend the existing Act to include higher penalties for offending pharmacists.
The Ministry said that the selling of drugs over the counter without valid prescriptions and the sale of unprescribed medicines is a growing trend which was some of the main findings in the report. Officials said the report also indicated that the use of old prescriptions to re-purchase the same medicine for a sickness often resulted in an anti-drug resistance phenomenon which is harmful to consumers.
Officials also said that it is also a harmful trend and makes it financially impossible for customers to buy medicine. (Olindhi Jayasundere)