For the first time, all pharmacists are prohibited from selling condoms, oral contraceptives, or any antidepressant to people under the age of 18 by the Drugs Control Department of Karnataka. This move was taken after an incident of condoms being found in a school bag.
During a routine school exercise by the school association, the school representatives had found tenth-standard students possessing condoms, contraceptives, cigarettes and whiteners in school bogs. Numerous petitions called for the Drug Control Department to intervene after the news broke.
Bhagoj T Khanapure, Drugs Controller of Karnataka, said, “Technically, the government is promoting condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and also for population control. However, it is not for teens or school kids. Hence, the circular strictly says that medicines should not be sold to underage teens.”
Although the circular has been released, there are concerns about how pharmacies would implement it, given that over-the-counter medications are still offered in spite of multiple circulars. The Drug Control department representatives are optimistic that the circular will be followed, nonetheless.
What do schools have to say about the ban?
A school principal welcomed the move and said, “We need to curb these practices and it should start from the source. It will be impossible for schools to check students’ bags every day. Firstly, there will be a lot of resistance from the students, especially those studying in higher classes.”
They further added, “it is next to impossible to check every bag on a routine basis as it will not only delay the entry of students but will also harm the academic environment. So, the best way is to curb the sales.”
What do pharmacists have to say about the ban?
However, various pharmacists have questioned the move and stated that it is a difficult job to control it. A pharmacist said, “However, the pharmacists say it is quite a tough job. “We agree that we should not sell over-the-counter drugs. However, condoms need no prescription and do not constitute as an OTC. If any student in uniform asks for it, then we do not sell it. However, students can come in a regular dress, and it might not be possible for us to follow the diktat.”
Here were some comments by Reddit users after reading the news:
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