The All-Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association (AKCDA) has strongly refuted allegations that its members are fleecing patients.

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 All-Kerala Retail Chemists and Druggists Association (AKRCDA), that the wholesale drug distributers were selling insulin at Rs.145.50 a vial which they get at Rs.53 was totally unfounded and aimed at misleading the public.

Though AKRCDA 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 Rs. 169.04, they alleged.

Mr. 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 had made arrangements to sell insulin at Rs.53 through select State-run outlets, as stated by Mr. Varkey, the government should supply it to the wholesalers too so that the drug could be sold at a subsidised price all over the State, he said.

The AKCDA leaders also called upon the government 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 government healthcare centres across the State. Mr. Mathew said the association would extend all support to the government in this regard.