‘Chemists and Druggists’ Signboards to Soon Be Replaced With the Word ‘Pharmacy’
Chemist Shops (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, April 19: The signboards of all medical shops that have words 'chemists and druggists' will soon be replaced with the word ‘pharmacy’. After an order by the government’s top advisory body on drugs, the decision to change the name on signboards will help in bringing a uniformity in the nomenclatures of all shops selling medicines. Moreover, globally, the word pharmacy is used and widely accepted. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the Drug and Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has approved changing the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to bring uniformity to all the signboards of the medical stores across the nation. Drug Inspector Neha Shoree Shot Dead by Chemist Whose Licence She Cancelled, Punjab CM Orders Probe.

The report informs that the matter was discussed in the 55th Drugs Consultative Committee meeting held in January 2019, in which the renaming was recommended. The proposal was then placed before the 82nd DTAB meeting held on April 2, following which the board agreed to amend the rules. It must be noted that it is only after the Union ministry of health and family welfare formally notifies the amendments, chemists will be given a time frame to make the required changes.

Dr S Eswara Reddy, drugs controller general of India was quoted in the report saying that as medical stores use different nomenclatures, there was a need to bring in uniformity and as the word pharmacy is used and widely accepted, DTAB decided to rename them. The report states that as per details discussed in the DTAB meeting where the proposal was discussed, ‘chemists and druggists’ was coined in 1945 and is quite old. Moreover, at present, the word ‘drug’ is looked upon as addiction for chemicals and not suitable to refer a professional pharmacist.

The report further adds that the description “chemists and druggists” is displayed by licencees who employ registered pharmacists under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, but do not have a pharmacy for compounding – preparing personalised medication for patients - against prescriptions.

Reddy added saying that, the DTAB will have to update their database and add the changed names of stores that are registered with them. “The final notification will provide a time frame to apply for name change with our licencing division,” Dr Reddy added.