History of Drug Legislation and Pharmacy Profession in India

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Chapter: Forensic Pharmacy : History of Drug Legislation and Pharmacy Profession in India

During 1920-1930 there were number of reports of harmful substitutes and adulterants being marketed in place of genuine drugs and toxic effects of such drugs were published in Indian press from time to time.


History of Drug Legislation and Pharmacy Profession in India

During 1920-1930 there were number of reports of harmful substitutes and adulterants being marketed in place of genuine drugs and toxic effects of such drugs were published in Indian press from time to time. According to reports of Indian Medical Gazette during this period, there was absolutely no control over the manufacturing, sale and distribution of drugs in India. Several deaths were reported due to spurious drugs. In place of eye drops, croton oil was used. Chalk powder was frequently found to be used for adulteration of drug formulations. There were toxicity reports due to overdose of mercury compounds. In the absence of effective Acts and Rules related to drugs and pharmaceuticals in the country, there was a rat race for manufacturing of sub-standard, spurious and adulterated formulations.

As a result of alarming adverse reports, deaths due to spurious and adulterated drugs and in view of protests within and outside the country concerned with poor medical facilities offered by British rulers in India finally, on 9th March, 1927, The British Government was forced to initiate action for drug legislations. The Council of State in British India headed by the Viceroy passed a resolution to counter or check malpractices in drug dispensation and medication. On 11th August, 1930, Drugs Enquiry Committee (D.E.C.) was constituted under the Chairmanship of Col. R. N. Chopra which was a historic development signalling beginning of new era of drug legislation in our country. Prior to the constitution of this Committee, there was no significant piece of legislation regulating the import, manufacture, sale and distribution of medicine. No Act was in vogue prescribing qualification of a pharmacist and there was no systematic procedure adopted for registration as pharmacists.

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