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In India there was no restriction to practise the profession of pharmacy. One could practise this profession as any other profession. Persons, having no knowledge and having no education in pharmacy or pharmaceutical chemistry or pharmacology, were engaged in this profession. Hundreds of cases were brought to the notice of the Government wherein the compounding, mixing, or dispensing of medicines was being done by persons who were not adequately educated in this line. The system was causing great harm to the health of people by wrong compounding, mixing or dispensing. It was found necessary to enact a law for the regulation of the profession and practice of pharmacy. To achieve this goal the Pharmacy Bill, 1947 was introduced in the Legislature which was later referred to the Select Committee. The recommendations of the Select Committee were incorporated in the Bill.


It is desirable that, as in most other countries, only persons who have attained a minimum standard of professional education should be permitted to practise the Profession of Pharmacy. It is accordingly proposed to establish a Central Council of Pharmacy, which will prescribe the minimum standards of education and approve courses of study and examinations for Pharmacists, and Provincial Pharmacy Councils, which will be responsible for the maintenance of provincial registers of qualified pharmacists. It is further proposed to empower Provincial Governments to prohibit the dispensing of medicine on the prescription of a medical practitioner otherwise than by, or under the direct and personal supervision of, a registered pharmacist.

ACT 8 OF 1948

The Pharmacy Bill, 1947, having been passed by the Legislature received its assent on 4th March, 1948. It came on the Statute Book as THE PHARMACY ACT, 1948 (8 of 1948).



1.        The Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

2.        The Adaptation of Laws (No. 3) Order, 1956. 

3.        The Pharmacy (Amendment) Act, 1959 (24 of 1959). 

4.        The Pharmacy (Amendment) Act, 1976 (70 of 1976). 

5.        The Pharmacy (Amendment) Act, 1982 (22 of 1982). 

6.        The Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1985 (4 of 1986).

Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5



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