IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


22nd November, 2023 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: thehealthmaster.com

Context: The Union Health Ministry seeks public and stakeholder feedback on the proposed National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023, which aims to establish the Commission and replace the Pharmacy Act 1948. The draft bill is available on the Ministry's website for comments.

Key Highlights

Objectives of the Bill

  • Enhancing Pharmacy Education: The bill seeks to improve access to high-quality pharmacy education. This means ensuring that educational institutions offering pharmacy courses maintain high standards and facilitate the availability of well-trained pharmacy professionals across the country.
  • Accessibility of Pharmacy Services: The primary goal is to make pharmacy services accessible to all citizens. This aligns with the broader objective of ensuring equitable healthcare for everyone.

Key Provisions

National Pharmacy Commission

The commission, based in Delhi, aims to replace the decentralized Pharmacy Act of 1948, centralizing decision-making for pharmacy education, practice, and ethics nationwide.

Its establishment seeks to streamline processes and enforce uniform standards, potentially enhancing efficiency and consistency in pharmacy practices.

The commission is intended to provide comprehensive oversight, regulating multiple aspects of pharmacy, thus improving governance and adherence to ethical standards.

Periodic Assessment of Pharmacy Institutions

By implementing transparent and regular evaluations of pharmacy institutions, this provision ensures that these entities maintain the necessary standards of education and training.

Regular assessments can help identify areas needing improvement and maintain consistent quality across institutions.

Maintenance of a Pharmacy Register

Establishing a comprehensive register of pharmacy professionals serves as a tool for transparency.

It's designed to ensure that only qualified individuals are practising pharmacy. This register could serve as a means of monitoring and regulating the profession more effectively.

Ethical Standards and Research Integration

Encouraging pharmacy professionals to integrate the latest research into their practice is key for ongoing professional development and advancement.

Emphasizing high ethical standards across all facets of pharmacy services ensures quality and reliability in patient care.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism

This provision aims to create an effective mechanism to address grievances related to pharmacy services, education, and practice. It's crucial for addressing issues promptly and maintaining accountability within the profession.

Flexibility to Adapt

Allowing the framework to adapt to the changing landscape of the pharmacy sector ensures that it remains relevant and responsive. This adaptability is critical in keeping up with technological advancements, changes in healthcare practices, and evolving patient needs.

Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board

This board's responsibility for maintaining an accurate and updated National Pharmacy Register is crucial. Ensuring the accuracy and reliability of this register is fundamental to maintaining the credibility of registered pharmacy professionals.


  • Improved Standards: The overhaul aims to elevate the standards of pharmacy education and practice, ensuring that professionals are well-trained and capable of meeting the evolving healthcare needs.
  • Transparency and Accountability: The establishment of a comprehensive register and emphasis on ethical standards promote transparency and accountability within the profession.
  • Accessibility to Healthcare: By ensuring the availability of well-trained pharmacy professionals and equitable access to pharmacy services, the bill contributes to the broader goal of accessible healthcare for all citizens.


  • The proposed National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023 aims to modernize and regulate the pharmacy sector in India, ensuring that it meets the needs of a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape while maintaining high ethical and professional standards.


Q. Why is regulating the medical sector in India crucial for ensuring patient safety, quality healthcare, and equitable access to services? What challenges arise from the lack of stringent regulations in this sector, impacting both patients and healthcare providers? How can effective regulation improve the overall standards and trust in India's healthcare system?