NONTHABURI, 27 April 2015 – The Ministry of Public Health has enforced a new ministerial regulation since June 2014 to make all drugstores in Thailand meet Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) standard, enhancing the sector’s competitiveness in the AEC, Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin said in conjunction with the annual assembly of the Drugstores Club of Thailand.
The new regulation requires all drugstores in the country to employ at least one professional pharmacist. The pharmacist must always be on standby while the drugstore is open so that he or she can give accurate guidance on each medicine to customers especially those who need pain relief and steroids which are widely sold on cable TV.
Extension of permits will also be subject to pre-evaluation to check the stores’ readiness in terms of places of sale, equipment and GPP compliance. The regulation gives existing drugstores eight years to improve service but new drugstores must comply with the regulation from the beginning.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) has also launched an “Anti-Drug Abuse Suppression Plan” in cooperation with the drugstore network and educational institutions, in order to reduce drug abuse among Thai people, especially students.
There are currently 19,245 drugstores for humans and animals. 73% of them are located in the provinces, but only 972 drugstores have won certificates of quality approval from the Pharmacy Council.