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Lok Sabha passes bill to recognise pharmacists qualified under J&K Pharmacy Act

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill allowing persons qualified or registered under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act to be registered as pharmacists under the Pharmacy Act, thus doing away with the ambiguity with regard to the two legislations.

Piloting the Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that changes will increase job opportunities for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

The bill, which was passed by voice vote in the Lower House, seeks to do away with issues concerning the status of persons registered or qualified under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act.

Under the current dispensation, registration under the Pharmacy Act is mandatory for persons practising pharmacy in the country.

“Any person whose name has been entered in the register of pharmacists maintained under the Jammu and Kashmir Pharmacy Act, 2011, or possesses qualification (medical assistant/ pharmacists)… shall be deemed to have been entered in the register of pharmacists prepared and maintained under Chapter IV of this (Pharmacy) Act,” said the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.

Replying to the short debate on the Bill, Mandaviya said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has changed significantly after the abrogation of Article 370 and the amendments to the Pharmacy Act will enable the youth to take up even government jobs.

He further said the facility of tele-consultation is now available in Jammu and Kashmir and people are taking advantage of it to get the best possible medical treatment.

The minister further said that the government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is transforming the healthcare sector in the country with domestic industry taking up production of critical medicine and reducing dependence on imports.

He said that soon 38 out of 52 critical active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) will be produced within the country.

Mandaviya said that Ayushman Bharat Scheme has ensured quality medical treatment even for poor people. Similarly, Jan Aushadhi Kendras are making generic medicines available to people at lower cost.

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