Observing that pharmacists would have to depend on doctors but there was no need for a doctor to depend on pharmacists for dispensing medicines, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea seeking to appoint pharmacists at the 2,000 mini clinics established in Tamil Nadu.
Justice S Vaidyananathan, before whom the plea came seeking to modify the GO issued on December 5 by including pharmacists in the mini clinics came up, said “It is not necessary that all clinics should have a pharmacist…since a doctor, who ultimately examines patients and prescribe pills, is empowered to distribute medicines also to his/her patients.”
He pointed out that these clinics had only 200 square feet space, and noted that it was essential to maintain physical distance. If the small space was occupied by staff members themselves, the mini clinics would lose their significance, he said.
However, the judge also recorded the statement by Advocate General Vijay Narayan that the government was going to categorically inform the doctors that medicines should be disbursed only by them.
Dismissing the plea, the bench also noted that the main challenge before the government was to prevent the spread of diseases, much less the deadly COVID-19 that has taken several lives, and hence there should not be any hurdle for each and every step taken by the government.