The pharmacy council and pharmacy faculties of several universities have voiced their support for the retention of the existing Drugs Act which allows doctors, dentists and veterinarians to be eligible to dispense drugs besides pharmacists.

Representatives of the pharmacy council and pharmacy faculties met public health officials led by Dr Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of public health, for about three hours on Tuesday to discuss the new drugs bill proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

After the meeting, Dr Jesada told the media that the pharmacists were concerned with two issues.

Firstly, other professionals besides pharmacists, doctors, dentists and vets will be able to dispense drugs which the pharmacists are afraid will compromise public health.

The second issue of concern is the addition of a new group of drugs which still lacks clear-cut rules and affect safety of consumers.

FDA deputy secretary-general Surachoke Tangvivat explained that, according to international standard practice, there are three types of drugs: drugs which are under special control, dangerous drugs and common household drugs � all of which require prescription for dispensing.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)