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Phuket pharmacists up in arms over Drugs Act

PHUKET: Local pharmacists gathered at Phuket Provincial Hall today (Oct 16) to submit a formal request for the government to revise the provisions in a bill being drafted to update and amend the Drugs Act 1967.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 16 October 2018, 05:56PM

The pharmacists present their formal request at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning (Oct 16). Photo: PR Dept

The pharmacists present their formal request at Phuket Provincial Hall this morning (Oct 16). Photo: PR Dept

The draft bill in its current form will allow ‘health professionals’, not just qualified pharmacists, to legally dispense drugs.

The pharmacists, led by Kiatisak Panrangsri, massed at Provincial Hall at 8am, with Phuket Vice Governor Prakob Wongmaneerung formally receiving the request.

V/Gov Prakob said he would pass on the request to Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, who in turn would pass it on to the relevant government officials.

“Some sections of the bill are not appropriate and relevant persons have not had the chance to express their opinion,” Mr Kiatisak said.

Specifically, Section 21 of the Drugs Act stipulates, “21 A licensee to sell modern drugs must have a first or second class pharmacist with the duty to act as provided in section 39 or section 40 on duty for the duration of business hours.” (See law here.)

“They want to revise the law so that any persons who passed a training course from the Food and Drug Administration but do not graduate as a pharmacist can sell (medicinal) drugs to people,” Mr Kiatisak said.

New Paths Retreat

“If this becomes effective, it will increase the risk to people as those dispensing medicines will not have not enough basic knowledge of medicines,” he added.

Campaigns against the draft bill have been staged by pharmacists throughout the country, including in Bangkok, for months. (See stories here and here.)


However, last month the Thai FDA caved in to the pressure from pharmaceutical experts and agreed to allow only pharmacists, doctors, dentists and veterinarians to dispense drugs. (See story here.)




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Jor12 | 19 October 2018 - 22:01:52

What is so puzzling about what the legislation proscribes? What is puzzling is why a military junta would draft a bill  without consultation, allowing witchdoctors to prescribe medication. That is the problem with dictatorships. It's a wonder the pharmacy delegation wasn't arrested, like the 16 arrested for protesting against building of a power plant. Both are arguably Political gathering...

Kurt | 19 October 2018 - 10:55:40

Well, this whole affair/plan is already off the table, but I was puzzled by the term  "health professionals', as clearly that only are medical academics,  doctors, pharmacists, dentists and vets.

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