Panaji: `Medicinal narcotics` available on shelves are becoming an alternative to the traditional narcotics in Goa`s coastal belt with several pharmacies allegedly pushing these scheduled drugs, a probe by Anti Narcotics Cell has revealed.
The trend is catching up as synthetic drugs are preferred over traditional narcotics by tourists, a senior official of the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) said.
Police investigations, following recent seizure of Amphetamine, a scheduled drug allowed to be sold under the strict monitoring of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), have revealed that some pharmacies allegedly have nexus with peddlers or end users, official sources said.
Drugs like Amphetamine, Ketamine, Morphine, Pethidine and others which are used for terminally ill patients have occupied major space in narcotics trade in the coastal belt, they said.
Superintendent of Police (ANC) Karthik Kashyap confirmed that a recent raid established certain nexus between pharmacies and drug peddlers but detailed investigations will reveal to what extend the connivance is.
"In the recent raid, we had arrested one person who was a pharmacist and was carrying Amphetamine in a large quantity," he said.
In a similar raid, a huge quantity of Amphetamine, worth Rs two crore, was found in the possession of a British national.
Karthik said that some of the accused in the case are still on the run.
Director of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Salim Veljee claimed that there are 45 wholesale and retail sellers who are allowed to keep the scheduled drugs, which are to be sold only on the prescription of doctor.
"Maximum of four grams is allowed for each retailer to be stocked in his pharmacy. He cannot keep more than that and he has to provide detailed data of sale with documents to the FDA," he said.
FDA inspectors have been checking the stock and sale of the drugs every three months. Even if a single ampule is missing, the retailer has to face stringent action, Veljee said.