Free Press Journal

Chemists and Druggists Association of Mumbai to join strike against online pharmacies


Internet drug store concept doctor holding prescription medicine through a laptop screen

Mumbai: The Chemists and Druggists Association of Mumbai (CDAM) has decided to support the one-day bandh on May 30 against the illegal sale of medicines on the internet.

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has called a nationwide strike against the proposal of the Central Health Ministry to regulate the sale of drugs through e-portal and implementation of online pharmacy. Nitin Maniyar, General Secretary of Chemists and Druggists Association, Mumbai said that such a proposal can not be implemented as they do not have sufficient IT infrastructure.

“The proposal regulation would cause scarcity of the medicines and can cause disturbance. It is not easy to upload and register sale purchase data on e-portal which is not at al advisable by all the chemists owner,” added Maniyar.

As per the proposal, the details of all medicines dispensed will be entered in e-platform and bill will be generated through the system after proper verification. “The electronic platform is not a practical solution for regulating sale of drugs. Availability of the medicines for the public should always be the subject of priority for any regulatory system,” said Jagannath Shinde, President, AIOCD.

Besides the problem of data connectivity, the chemists also lack the use of modern technology. This would make online data entry more difficult. “The 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,” added Shinde.

Maniyar further stated that the steps taken by the government are bound to cause more and more difficulties in the sale and availability of the life saving medicines and ultimately the public at large will have to face the scarcity of the medicines.

The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) which represents over eight lakh chemists and druggists across India, has dismissed the proposal of e-portal stating that the move is impractical to implement.