Strike today: Chemists down shutters across India, protest e-platform plan

People walk past a chemist shop at a market in Mumbai

Their angst: uploading details of drugs traded on the portal and fee for keeping it running

 

Over 800,000 chemists across the country have decided to shut shop on Tuesday to protest against the government’s e-platform plan to regulate the sale of drugs.

 

The platform is being set up to ensure supply of quality drugs and curb anti-microbial resistance, but chemists are opposing the move. Under the plan chemists will have to upload details of all medicines purchased and sold on the e-platform and will have to pay a transaction fee to support cost of running the system.

 

All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) president Jagannath Shinde claimed that the strike has hundred per cent support from members across India and all stores except those in hospitals and day-and-night outlets will remain closed.

 

MedPlus, which runs 1,400 outlets in southern and eastern India, has said it will not participate in the strike and “will try and keep all stores open.”

 

There are other indications too the strike may not get full support. Around 600 chemist store owners in Tamil Nadu will wear black bands in protest but will keep their outlets open.

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Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration commissioner Harshdeep Kamble said he expects 4,000 stores out of a total of 45,000 in the state to remain open. “I am not saying there will be no problem but we are prepared to tackle it. Instructions are being issued to 24-hour chemists to keep them open. Assistant commissioners in each district will be monitoring the situation,” he said.(READ MORE)

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