Chemists on nationwide strike today over e-pharmacy regulations

Posted May 31, 2017

The chemists have strongly hit out against the centre's proposal to set up an e-portal to regulate the sale of medicines.

Meanwhile, MDCDA President K.V. Prakash and Treasurer U.S. Harish-led 20-member team presented a signed memorandum following a signature campaign, to the Deputy Commissioner. The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) is also opposing online pharmacy citing that e-pharmacy poses a threat to their business.

Medical shops were closed in Mumbai on Tuesday during the all India strike
Medical shops were closed in Mumbai on Tuesday during the all India strike

"All the medical shops are closed". An apex body of chemists has called the strike in protest against the stringent regulations on the sale of medicines.

Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association General Secretary Natarajan said almost 20,000 of the 30,000 medical shops in the state remained closed.

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In a letter to the Union ministry, President of AIOCD, Jagannath Shinde said, "Considering insufficient infrastructure of IT across the country, it will be hard and embarrassing for most of the stockists, druggists and chemists to upload the details of the sale on the e-portal within a stipulated period".

The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association has said online pharmacy will only enable transparent drug dispensing mechanism as the entire procedure will be tracked, reported The Indian Express. Most chemists in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka also shut shop in support of the nationwide shutdown.

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Nangia said that emergency service pharmacies in and around hospitals will remain open.

"We have issued direction to authorities of medical colleges and hospitals to keep essential medicines including live saving drugs in readiness to meet the demand", Health and Family Welfare secretary P K Meherda told reporters.

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"Over 60 per cent rural India has no qualified doctors, and now the government has stipulated sale of medicines only through a prescription by a qualified medico, as one of the conditions in the e-portal".