Around 1,500 medical shops in the district will remain closed on May 10 in response to the nationwide bandh call given by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) to protest against the ‘unjust’ policies of the government which were detrimental to the interest of drug dealers.

Announcing this at a media conference here on Wednesday, secretary of the Visakhapatnam District Drug Trade Association V. Sitaramaiah said that apart from closure of drug stores, rallies and protests would be organised on that day. He appealed to the public to purchase their emergency drug requirements before the strike. He, however, said that drug stores in government and private hospitals and at some junctions would be kept open on the strike day to avoid inconvenience to the public.

The main demands of the drug dealers include: not to reduce the trade margins on medicines in the forthcoming Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013, to resolve the long pending issue of shortage of pharmacists and suitably amend Rule 65 (15) (c) of Drugs and Cosmetic Rules to permit the partners/proprietor as a qualified person to dispense the medicines, to give relief under Section 19 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 to the dealer to has acted in true faith, if he submits valid documents of transactions and administration without prosecuting him till his guilt was proved and not allowing Foreign Direct Investments in distribution and retailing of medicines as there were over 25 lakh employees were dependent on drug distribution for a livelihood.

Association treasurer K.CH. Butchi Raju and president M.V. Naidu were present.

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