Chemists, Druggists to go on Strike in Karnataka on May 30

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In response to the Nationwide strike call given by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) and The Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association (KCDA), in protest against online sale of medicines and to press for fulfilment of various demands, all medical shops will observe a one day bandh in the city on May 30 (Tuesday). The retailers will not be on strike for one day and also hold a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar, according to the Times of India reports. If online drug business grows without any control, then it could destroy the livelihood of 8.5 lakh chemists and druggists in India, the association said.

The remaining 4,000 pharmacies are run by individuals and are represented by The Chemists & Druggists Association (Chennai district). The organisation has served an advance notice to the prime minister's office, health ministry, home ministry and drug controller. "With the current infrastructure, it is not possible for us", he said, further adding that the current margin of profit makes it infeasible for them to bear additional cost.

Ina country like India, this is an entirely wrong idea where it will have long-term repercussions. Over 15,000 chemists and druggists will go on strike in Kerala.

The organisation has said an e-portal is a highly impracticable option for something as sensitive as sales. "Further, it shall be hard to ascertain the credibility of the drug supplied online and the time involved in the supply, especially in case of life-threatening emergencies".

As per the newly proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, stockists and vendorsare expected to upload data on the government website within a stipulated time. The association members said all 600 medical stores in Chandigarh will remain closed on May 30 in support of the strike.

There have been a slew of protests against the online sale of medicines.

The organisation welcomed the government's initiative to monitor the quality of drugs, but said that the e-portal would not be an effective system. On 12 April, over 40,000 medicine shops in Bihar shut shop.

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