Health minister to meet pharmacists to resolve conflicts over new drugs bill

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn was to meet with representatives of pharmacists today to discuss conflicts arising from the new Drugs Bill proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

The minister said Monday that president of the Pharmacy Council, three candidates for the Pharmacy Council presidency and deans of 15 pharmacy faculties have been invited to the meeting today with the minister and officials concerned.

Asked whether there is a split opinion among the network of pharmacists regarding the new bill, Dr Piyasakol merely said that all concerned parties have good intention toward the public and they may have different opinions.

Pharmacists have voiced strong objection to the new bill which seeks to allow medical staff apart from qualified pharmacists to dispense drugs.  They suspect that this will open a loophole for investors to hire unqualified personnel to operate pharmacies and, hence, cut cost for hiring qualified pharmacists which will not be beneficial to the public.