Prior to the enactment of Pharmacy Act, 1948, there was practically no restriction on entry of persons into the profession of pharmacy. Anybody who could read a prescription could become a pharmacist.
The Pharmacy Bill was introduced by the Govt. of India in 1945 to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy. The said act was passed in the shape of Pharmacy Act, 1948 (Act No.8 of 1948). The Act has been divided into 5 chapters and 46 sections. The act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
It came into force on 4th March 1948 but the chapters relating to State Pharmacy Councils, Registration of Pharmacists, and Miscellaneous Provisions were to come in force in a particular State from such date as the State Government might, by notification in the official gazette, have appointed in this behalf. Following are the significant features of the act:
The constitution of the Central and State Pharmacy Councils.
The prescribing of the minimum standard of education required for qualifying as a pharmacist.
The registration of the pharmacists by the State Pharmacy Councils.
Maintenance of disciplinary control over the profession of pharmacy.
Dispensing of prescriptions of registered medical practitioners only by registered pharmacists.