Coming down heavily against the offenders, the Drug Administration wing of Punjab has sealed in a period of about a month, 16 Chemist Shops in the State for unaccounted stock of habit forming drugs.Giving details, KS Pannu Commissioner Food and Drug Administration Punjab informed that in line with the State Government’s zero tolerance policy towards drugs, the Commissionerate had issued orders imposing specific restrictions on stocking, sale and distribution of habit forming drugs namely Tramadol and Tapentadol in oral solid dosage forms by the wholesale as well as retail-sale licencees. This was in addition to the restrictions imposed earlier on 6 drugs containing Dextropropoxyphene, Diphenoxylate, Codeine, Pentazocine, Buprenorphine and Nitrazepam in their formulations. But despite restriction, the regular inspections by the Drug Control Officers and Zonal Licensing Authorities have unearthed unaccounted stock of habit forming drugs at various chemist shops.“We spent ample time to motivate and educate the chemists against the stocking, sale and distribution of habit forming drugs. Any contravention in this regard now needs to be dealt severely,’’ said Pannu. So, now our teams issue the show cause notice, seal the shops and initiate legal proceedings against the offenders, he added. If the chemists fail to disclose the source of such drugs, the concerned officers file complaint against them before judicial court, under section 18B read with section 28 A of Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940. We are determined to check the misuse of the habit forming drugs and will leave no stone unturned for the same, asserted Pannu.The chemist shops sealed for unaccounted stock of habit forming drugs include one shop each at Muktsar, Bhucho, Tarn Taran, Moga, Sangrur and Gurdaspur. While two shops each were sealed in Bathinda, Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Mohali and Patiala.