Unemployed Registered Pharmacists' Association Nagaland comprises of well-qualified and registered professionals Credit: Representational image

Kohima: The Unemployed Registered Pharmacists’ Association Nagaland (URPAN) on Friday appealed the state government to lift the “blanket ban on new appointments from 2015 till 2022” and to reinstate all 490 posts of pharmacists which was reduced to 309 posts in 2015.

Through a press note, URPAN convenor Savizo Kezieo and secretary M Metmei Phom said that in the fight against COVID-19, the existing strength of frontline workers — including the health care workers — are “found to be insufficient to cater to the ever-increasing number of positive cases and suspects”.

As the Nagaland government is also “forced to recruit more personnel in order to effectively tackle the crisis”, the Unemployed Registered Pharmacists’ Association Nagaland — comprising of well qualified and registered professionals — appealed the state government to advertise posts of pharmacists.

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“It is pertinent to note that, the state government on ground of cadre review had abruptly cut down the existing 490 posts of pharmacists to 309 in 2015 without proper analysis. This is precisely loss of 181 posts of Pharmacists in the state of Nagaland,” it said.

As the state government has “put a blanket ban on new appointments from 2015 till 2022”, it said that the “posts of pharmacists were withdrawn from sub center level, where underprivileged sections of our society receive healthcare services”.

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Due to this, it claimed that many Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCS), and even District Hospitals (DHs) are without requisite number of pharmacists.

As per Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 & Rules, 1945 and the Pharmacy Practice Regulation, 2015, only a registered pharmacist can dispense drugs/medicines, it said.

Questioning as to how health care institutions are supposed to function without pharmacists, the union appealed the state government to “pursue this matter on urgent basis and reinstate the existing number of 490 posts of Pharmacists and lift the blanket ban in the interest of the society”.

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