All-Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association (AKCDA) have strongly refuted the allegations of fleecing of patients leveled against the wholesalers by the All-Kerala Retail Chemists and Druggists Association (AKRCDA).

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, P.C. Thomas, Biju Mathew, Mathew Zachariah and Sulaiman Rawther, AKCDA leaders, said the allegation made by the AKRCDA leaders that the wholesale drug distributors were selling the insulin at a rate of Rs 145.50 a vial which they actually get at a cheap rate of Rs 53 was totally unfounded and aimed at misleading the common people.

Though the ADRCDA president, Alex Varkey, had claimed that the retailers were selling insulin at the rate of Rs 145 to Rs 150 through their outlets, a bill issued from his own shop on March 16 showed that he was selling the drug at the rate of Rs 169.04, they alleged.

Mr Biju Mathew said the wholesalers were getting insulin at the rate of Rs 132.06 which they sell to the retailers at Rs 142.98.

If the Health department has made any arrangements to sell insulin at a cheap rate of Rs 53 through select State-run outlets, as stated by Mr Varkey, the Government should take steps to supply it to the wholesalers too in the larger interest of facilitating the drug at the same subsidised price in the nook and cranny of the State, he said.

The AKCDA leaders also called upon the Government to take necessary steps to supply insulin which has been identified as a life-saving drug free of cost to all patients belonging to the below-poverty line (BPL) category through various Government healthcare centres across the State. Mr Mathew said the association would extend all support to the Government in this regard.

They said the charge leveled by Mr Varkey that the wholesale distributors were fleecing the retailers was baseless.

Abdul Aziz and Thomas Abraham, association executive committee members, were also present.

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