More Than 200 Drug Stores in Mumbai and Thane Lack Pharmacists; Allegations of Neglect Against Food and Drug Administration

Mumbai-Thane, 6th January 2024: Alarming reports reveal that over 200 drug stores in Mumbai and Thane are operating without licensed pharmacists, a mandatory requirement by law. Critics accuse the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of negligence, asserting that the authority is turning a blind eye to the issue when strict action is essential.

The law mandates the presence of a qualified pharmacist in drug stores to ensure accurate dispensing of medicines prescribed by doctors. Failure to comply with this requirement could lead to the cancellation of the store owner’s license. Shop owners are also obligated to register drug vendors on the FDA website (

Despite being responsible for verifying the presence of licensed pharmacists in drug stores, the FDA is accused of overlooking the issue. With no pharmacists listed on the FDA website for several stores, concerns are raised about accountability if patients are dispensed incorrect medications.

As per information on the FDA website, 165 drug stores across seven wards in Mumbai, particularly in the western suburbs, lack licensed pharmacists. In Thane district’s Zone 1 (Digha area), 18 stores, and in Zone 2 (Mira Road-Bhayander area), 65 stores operate without pharmacists.

Mumbai Zone Breakdown:
1. Dongri – 1
2. Worli-Antop Hill – 13
3. Chembur-Vidyavihar – 27
4. Kurla-Mulund – 29
5. Vile Parle-Andheri – 30
6. Jogeshwari-Goregaon – 29
7. Kandivali-Dahisar – 36

Thane Zone Breakdown:
1. Digha – 18
2. Bhayander – 65

Abhay Pandey, President of the All Food and Drug License Holders Foundation, emphasizes the seriousness of the matter and calls for investigations into shop owners without pharmacists. He advocates for legal action against them.

Bhushan Patil, Joint Commissioner (Drugs) at the FDA, denies any negligence, stating that drug inspectors regularly inspect all drug stores. He suggests that some businesses may be closed without registering online, leading to the appearance of a lack of pharmacists in certain shops. Patil assures that regular inspections leave no room for such oversights.