The Centre has decided to rope in chemists and druggists to strengthen the mechanism of notifying tuberculosis incidence to authorities concerned, and if they or a health establishment fail to do so, it would attract penal action, including imprisonment and fine.
A notification by the Union health ministry today stated that all pharmacies and chemists dispensing anti-tuberculosis drugs will have to notify TB patients along with details of medicines and a copy of the prescriptions electronically or in hard copy to the nodal officer of the district or any other official authorised by him.
According to a health ministry official, the aim is to trace the missing TB cases by strengthening the reporting system.
The notification stated that to ensure proper diagnosis and management of tuberculosis, it is essential to collect complete information of all TB patients.
It said, list and contact details of State Tuberculosis Officers and District Tuberculosis Officers concerned, will be regularly updated by the Central Tuberculosis Division, in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and made available on www.tbcindia.gov.in and www.nikshay.gov.in.