Mumbai

Chemists to go on strike on May 30

PANAJI: The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), which has more than eight lakh members, will go on a day-long strike on May 30 to protest against the Health Ministry’s proposal to regulate the sale of medicines through an e-portal.

The organisation has said an e-portal is a highly impracticable option for something as sensitive as sales.

Mr. Prasad Tamba, Goa branch president of the AIOCD, said on Friday that considering the insufficient IT infrastructure across the country, it will be difficult for most stockists, druggists and chemists to upload sales details on the e-portal within the stipulated period. This will create a scarcity of medicines in the country and lead to chaos, Mr. Tamba told reporters.

He said AIOCD president Jagannath Shinde had submitted a representation of their objections to the Deputy Secretary of the Health Ministry.

The organisation welcomed the government’s initiative to monitor the quality of drugs, but said that the e-portal would not be an effective system.

“The regulatory machinery to record the medicines manufactured in the country and their supply to the stockist is already in place. If the problem is about the sale of medicines to the customers, it is monitored by the Food and Drugs Administration,” Mr. Tamba said.

Besides, constituting an autonomous regulatory board and punishing chemists is also not justifiable, the organisation said. The board has been allowed to set up its own financial resources after two years, which will violate the confidentiality of medicine traders, it said.

As per the newly proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) system, stockists and vendorsare expected to upload data on the government website within a stipulated time. This will prove to be expensive and cumbersome, the association said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 12:12:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/chemists-to-go-on-strike-on-may-30/article18586837.ece

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