All-Kerala Retail Chemists and Druggists Association (AKRCDA) has called upon the Government to take steps to supply drugs, especially life-saving drugs, to the small-scale retail druggists across the State through the Kerala Medical Service Corporation so as to check exploitation and fleecing of the common people at the hands of private distributors.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, AKRCDA president, Alex Varkey, said the wholesalers and even the Health department was getting insulin at a rate of Rs 53 a vial which they sell at Rs 145.50.

Mr Varkey said the association would sell insulin at Rs 60 a vial through as many as 11,500 retail outlets across the State, if it gets the drug at the rate of Rs 53 through the company outlets or the Government store.

Presently, the retail druggists in the State are getting insulin at the rate of Rs 143 a vial which they sell in the price range of Rs 145 to Rs 150, he said.

Mr Varkey said the association had decided to launch a co-operative society in every district for bulk purchase of drugs directly from the company and supply it to the retailers at a much lower market price, avoiding the wholesalers who act as “middlemen’’.

Though the association has submitted application for registering its co-operative societies in all the 14 districts, the authorities concerned have been raising one or the other objection, delaying the process, he alleged.

According to him, certain pharma companies provide free supply of 2,000 vials of insulin for every 1,000-vial bulk purchase by major hospitals and wholesale dealers who, in turn, make bumper profit out of it.

Even the Supplyco is said to have been making huge profit by selling this lifesaving drug, purchased at a wholesale rate of Rs 53 per vial, at a much higher rate of Rs 143 through its retail ‘Maveli’ medical stores, Mr Varkey alleged.

Mr Varkey said AKRCDA was for a positive change in the pharma retail business in the State by providing life-saving drugs to the common people at a reasonable price.

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