A 17 per cent discount is being offered on generic and life saving drugs to Medicard users in the city by six government run pharmacies, said Triplicane Urban Co-operative Society (TUCS) Joint Registrar/Special Officer, R.G. Sakthi Saravanan on Sunday.

Currently, Kamadhenu Co-operative Pharmacy is offering 15 per cent discount on the total bill and those possessing Medicard will get additional discount of two per cent.

So far, 2,000 cards have been issued since Wednesday to Government employees and TUCS plans to issue 1 lakh cards to its customers free-of-cost. All that a customer has to do is to fill up the registration form by giving the basic details such as telephone number, e-mail ID, blood group and profession along with their periodical requirement of medicine for diabetics, blood pressure or cardiac.

Mentioning that it was difficult to compete with private pharmacies, Mr. Saravanan told The Hindu that 4,200 medical shops were in existence in the city and they had also started to offer five per cent discount on total bill. Some of them have started to air-condition their shops.

“We are not competing with them. On the other hand, we are providing medicines to the people at affordable price, sacrificing our margin. If others are following us, then we can say we have made an impact. Currently, 14 government-run shops are functioning in the city and 10 more will be opened before the year-end. In the last 80 days, we have sold medicines worth Rs.71.71 lakh to 20,000 customers,” he said.

TUCS Kamadhenu Co-operative Pharmacies are located at Teynampet, Ashok Nagar, Besant Nagar, Kilpauk, R.A. Puram and Royapettah. The remaining pharmacies are operated by Kancheepuram District Co-operative Wholesale Stores (five) and Park Town Wholesale stores (three).