New Delhi: Chemists shops across the country are going to remain closed on 30th May, 2017, following the announcement of a nationwide strike to oppose new regulations on Chemists.
The strike is being held under the banner of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists Association (AIOCD) which will protest stringent regulations on the sale of medicines in the country and to draw attention to the squeeze on their margins.
AIOCD, represents nine lakh chemists across the country. The strike will also see the body hold a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
Members of the AIOCD informed that the organisation has made several appeals to the government over the recent changes in regulations as well as the issues of viability of their businesses, but because of no response to the grievances, they were compelled to observe a strike.
While speaking with TOI, a senior executive said “We have made many representations to the government but found no positive response to our concerns. The government wants us to feed all information related to sale of medicines on a portal. With the current infrastructure, it is not possible for us. On the other hand, with new regulations our margins are under pressure.”
Another media reports points out that all 600 medical stores in Chandigarh will remain closed in support of the strike which will address the issues of the online sale of medicine, the government’s e-portal plan and the quality of the DPharma course, which will now be considered a must for wholesale chemists to get a license and the renewal of licenses.
Speaking with The Indian Express Vijay Anand, president of the Chandigarh Chemists’ Association, said “The online service, which the government wishes to provide to patients and consumers, shall not only result in storage problems but may also affect the quality of drugs being supplied. Further, it shall be difficult to ascertain the credibility of the drug supplied online and the time involved in the supply, especially in case of life-threatening emergencies.”
AN Mohanan, national vice-president of AIOCD and state president of the All-Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association on the other hand told Hindu “This is an absolutely wrong idea in a country like India where it will have long-term repercussions. Though online purchase of medicine is legal in advanced countries, in our country with low computer literacy and extremely weak regulation of the drug industry, the initiative will have serious consequences for public health.” Over 15,000 chemists and druggists will go on strike in Kerala he added.
According to chemists online pharmacy is illegal which is not only threat to their business but can also lead to sale of counterfeits, irrational usage of medicines and risk of drug reactions.