Pharma Sector – Drug Pricing, NPPA, FDC, Generics, etc.

Draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023

Mains level: NA

Central Idea

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has unveiled the draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023, signalling a transformative shift in India’s healthcare landscape.
  • This bill aims to replace the Pharmacy Act, of 1948, and the existing Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) with the forward-looking National Pharmacy Commission.

Key Highlights of the Bill

  • Elevating Pharmacy Education: The primary objective of the bill is to elevate pharmacy education by enhancing access to affordable, high-quality learning opportunities. It envisions a robust educational framework that prepares future pharmacy professionals to excel.
  • Universal Access to Pharmacy Services: The bill aspires to make pharmacy services accessible to all, fostering equitable healthcare delivery across the nation.
  • Integration of Research and Ethical Standards: It encourages pharmacy professionals to seamlessly integrate the latest research into their practice, contribute to ongoing research efforts, and uphold the highest ethical standards.
  • Transparency and Adaptability: The bill advocates for regular, transparent assessments of pharmacy institutions, the establishment of a national pharmacy register, and the flexibility to adapt to evolving healthcare needs. It also introduces an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

National Pharmacy Commission’s Architecture

  • A New Beginning: The bill proposes the establishment of the National Pharmacy Commission, headquartered in New Delhi, heralding the dissolution of the existing Pharmacy Council of India.
  • Composition: The commission will consist of a Chairperson, 13 ex-officio members, and 14 part-time members.
  • Three Key Boards: The Central Government will constitute three vital boards under the commission:
    1. Pharmacy Education Board
    2. Pharmacy Assessment and Rating Board
    3. Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board

Empowering State Chapters

  • The bill mandates every State Government to establish a state pharmacy chapter within one year from the Act’s commencement.
  • These chapters will operate under State Law and play a pivotal role in executing the Act’s provisions.
  • The Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board will maintain the National Pharmacy Register (NPR), a comprehensive repository containing detailed information about pharmacy professionals, ensuring transparency and accountability.

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