MUMBAI: Opposing the central government’s proposal for mandatory registration for online sale of all allopathic medicines through a dedicated government e-portal, the chemists may announce one day strike on 30 May 2017. The chemists under the umbrella of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) have shown strong disapproval to the latest policy proposed by the health ministry.
It is reported that The Health Ministry had in the month of March announced a proposal through a public notice to regulate the sale of medicines across India via an e-portal. Salient features of the proposal included:-
1 All the pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers, stockists, chemists and even doctors who are registered with Medical Council of India (MCI), State Medical Councils and Dental Council need to be registered on the e-portal.
2 The details of all medicines dispensed will be entered in e-platform and bill will be generated through the system after proper verification.
3 Chemists would have to register and upload sale purchase data.
4 Medicines that are not registered on e-portal will not be allowed to be sold.
All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), an association of 6 lakh chemists across the country outright rejected the centre’s proposal stating that;
1 The move is impractical and as well as the country does not have sufficient IT infrastructure including internet connectivity.
2 Besides this chemists also pointed out to lack of IT trained manpower to work on the e-portal
3 The uploading seems impractical and would lead delay and even denial of medicines to patient in some cases leading to vioelence and attachs on chemists
Jagannath Shinde, President, AIOCD told Hindu “When there is no sufficient IT infrastructure how will a chemist upload every prescription on e-portal.”
“Barring urban areas, internet connection is limited or even does not exist in the rural areas. It will be difficult for the stockists and chemists to upload every detail on medicines received, their sale or return to the manufacturers on a daily basis. It will not even be possible on a fortnightly basis in rural areas.” he said.
“This could lead to serious problems if the medicines are denied on such prescriptions, the people in the rural area will be deprived of the medicines.”