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Chemists to Go on a Nationwide Strike Today Against Online Sales of Medicines

Representative image. (File photo: PTI)

Representative image. (File photo: PTI)

This strike would mean that pharmacy stores across the country will remain shut. However, in case of emergencies, customers can get medicines from select drug stores in government and private hospitals.

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Runjhun Sharma

New Delhi: The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) will hold a nationwide strike on Friday to protest against the sale of medicines and drugs on e-pharmacy websites without prescription.

This strike would mean that pharmacy stores across the country will remain shut. However, in case of emergencies, customers can get medicines from select drug stores in government and private hospitals.

“About 8 lakh members involved in the distribution of medicines across the country will protest,” said JS Shinde, the National President of AIOCD.

“To sensitize people about the issue many steps and repeated appeals have been made by AIOCD through memorandums to the concerned authorities and departments,” said Sandeep Nangia, the organising secretary of AIOCD & President of RDCA. According to him, the seriousness of the problem is evident from the numerous cases of illegal online sales of medicines by “so-called pharmacies and online portals.”

“As a cautious step, AIOCD has already observed two bharat bandhs earlier. If the appeal does not get a positive response from the government, AICOD will not have any other option than to call for a nationwide indefinite agitation,” he added.

While drug prices are regulated by the government, online portals still manage to offer heavy discounts on medicines. AIOCD feels, this nature of e-pharmacy encourages misuse of drugs, and gives rise to cases of drug overdose due to easy access to ‘prescription only’ medicines.

Despite the complaints made by AIOCD, online pharmacies are supplying drugs like I-pill, MTP kits and anti-depression tablets without confirming the authenticity of the prescription or the patient,” said Surender Duggal, vice-president, AIOCD.

“The government should crack down all online sales of medicines as it raises the risk of drug abuse. Presently online pharmacy business is run illegally and Govt authorities are not taking any action against it. Hence, we have no alternative than to go on strike to protect health of general public.” said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of AIOCD.

More than 25,000 chemists and wholesalers across the country are expected to shut their shops and thousands will sit on a dharna at Jantar Mantar on Friday morning.


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