New Delhi: A lobby of 8.5 lakh chemists across the country is planning to boycott the products manufactured by Cipla if the company enters the e pharmacy business reportedly with Bengaluru-based Medlife.
According to a recent media report, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) fretted after learning that Cipla is in conversation with online healthcare platform, Medlife to invest Rs 150-170 crore in the e pharmacy business.
Over the past years, the business of chemist stores has been reeling under the pressure of trade margin regulation after the Government granted permission to e-pharmacies, in order to save supply chain costs and expecting to curb down the prices of medicines by 15-30 per cent.
Last year, the powerful lobby of chemists across the country observed a strike to protest against the Government’s decision to permit the online sale of drugs.
The AIOCD had been opposing e-pharmacies, stating that they are illegal as the Drugs & Cosmetics Act do not permit the online sale of drugs and with the latest report of Cipla and Medlife collaborating to back e pharmacy business further infuriated the chemists across the country.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) stated that if at all Cipla collaborates with MedLife, the body and its members will stop promoting the products manufactured by the pharmaceutical company.
Cipla manufactures top-selling brands such as Asthalin and popular painkiller Ibugesic. Sidelining of the products by chemists will apparently affect the business of the firm, thereby reducing the offline sale.
AIOCD is awaiting confirmation from Cipla about the reports. If confirmed, the lobby will discuss the matter with its state heads to formulate its strategy.