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Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai March 29 , 2017
Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) battling human resource crunch will soon get B Pharm passouts as apprentice assistant drug inspectors who will assist drug inspectors in their routine affairs.

The initiative will reduce work burden of drug inspectors who are responsible for the inspection of manufacturing, distribution and sales units, taking drug samples for testing, conducting raids, taking action against non-compliance, following up legal actions, recalling non-compliant drugs, enforcing drug price control orders, and regulating drug advertising and drug promotion as per Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945.

It will enable pharmacy graduates to get exposure to FDA functioning aiming at ensuring production and distribution of safe and high quality medicines thereby enhancing their employment opportunity.

There are just 98 drug inspectors as against 161 sanctioned posts. The existing 98 drug inspectors have to cover 3,258 manufacturing units and 75,000 retail chemists in the state. The recruitment of drug inspectors is a lengthy and time consuming process. Hence Minister of Food and Drugs Administration Girish Bapat took decision to appoint B Pharmacy candidates as apprentice assistant drug inspectors to ease the workload of existing drug inspectors.

The minister in a circular issued on March 23 stated that B pharmacy candidates will be appointed as apprentice assistance drug inspectors for a year and will offer stipend to them. The stipend amount has not yet been fixed. Advertisement regarding recruitment of apprentice assistant drug inspectors will be issued by Maharashtra FDA at appropriate time.

Welcoming the ministry's decision, Maharashtra Registered Pharmacist Association (MRPA) president Kailas Tandale said “The initiative will benefit 70,000-80,000 B Pharm candidates in Maharashtra having 2.1 lakh registered pharmacists. In April 2015 we had submitted a memorandum to FDA minister Girish Bapat urging him to appoint pharmacy graduates as drug inspectors in FDA instead of appointing retired officials. We had submitted the same to him last year. Now our demand has been realised. It will help pharmacy graduates hone their skills in FDA affairs thereby increasing their skills and job prospects.”

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