Over the Counter Drugs.
Drug Stores in Bangalore.
Most of the drug stores in Bangalore are just another store selling not only drugs but many brands of imported medicines,tonics,chocolates,biscuits,blades,batteries,hair dyes,beauty creams,baby diapers and such items that are available in any grocery store nearby,the only difference is it sells drugs.You do not know the difference till you see the Red Cross over the shop.Rural people locate the drug store by this logo.
The shops are in various locations and even near the drain pipes discharging dirt and filth near the shops open gutter.The entrance to the shop is the footpath.People have to stand on the footpath and ask for the medicine the doctors who have prescribed.The doctors prescription is understood by the person in the shop,who in most cases is not a qualified person to take out the correct drug.
The shops cater to all types of drugs and the way it is stored is just like in a Rajastani grocery shop.We do not know if the shop is selling fake or spurious drug.Spurious drugs are in many chronic illness prescribed drugs.Once you get the doctors prescription which does not get destroyed is a prescription for ak\ll time and can be used again and again.If the prescription is lost the aluminum foil itself is the prescription if it is preserved.
The drug store will have a refrigerator to keep some drugs and will be the center of attraction in the shop with many stickers on it from various prominent drug manufacturers logo on it.Many shops do not have dust proof arrangement or air conditioners working.They even do not run fans.Prominent will be a photo of Indian God or the founders photo with plastic flowers or fresh flowers and electric lights or oil lights.
There are Drug Inspectors but they are well provided with funds from the drug sellers association perhaps.You can see lot of smuggled goods being confiscated but not drugs.The drug inspectors are elligible for cash rewards up to Rs.30 Lakh in their sercice but they make more by the other way in keeping them selves busy in some place.There is a shortage of drug inspectors as per the statement by the State Drug Controller.
The shortage is perhaps made permanent since the unaccounted income will be maintained and not diluted by filling up the vacancy's created by retirement.This is indeed surprising in a case where employment is deprived to persons who are qualified but not getting a govt job but will have to work in private hospitals as clerks or others to have mandatory staff on roll as per health dept rules.
The laboratory to test drugs of large is not possible as over 100 qualified staff are needed to test samples resulting in spurious drugs in the market.Why is this so is any body's guess.The Govt just has no time to care for the health of its people.Most of the time we do not know who is our health minister and what he is doing.We may not have a record of who manufactures the drug and who markets.
The printed matter on the drug's packet is so small we need a lens to read.The maximum retail price printed is over 30% and we get 10% discount if we ask and some drug store do not give any discount.The MRP is stamped with DOE in ink and not printed.
To top it all the drug store is also a clinic to give any medicine for diarrhea,any headache,stomach ach,body pain etc.Over the counter any drug you ask.