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All-India strike by 8.50 lakh chemists successful: AIOCD

Mumbai: Around 8.50 lakh retail chemists, druggists and pharmacies today observed a nation- wide day-long strike to press for their various demands, a senior official of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) said here.

“If our demands are not met, we will go on an indefinite strike,” AIOCD President Jagannath Shinde told PTI.

Nearly 8.50 lakh chemists across the country went on a strike protesting against the “stringent” regulations on the sale of medicines, Shinde said and claimed that the strike was 100 per cent successful.

According to the AIOCD, their several representations opposing the regulations on the sale of medicines in the country, submitted to the government, went unheeded, following which the one-day strike was called.

“We have been asked to upload all information related to sale of medicines on a portal, which is not possible with the existing infrastructure,” Shinde said.

Shinde said the industry has already sent 80,000 objection letters to the Centre in protest against e-portal and e-pharmacy.

The chemists are also opposing online pharmacy, which they say, poses a threat to their business.

“The online pharmacy will also encourage irrational usage of medicines and sale of fake drugs,” Shinde added.

Pharmacies shut across Andhra Pradesh today.

Similarly, in Telangana around 25,000 medical shops downed their shutters as part of the protest against the “stringent” regulations on sale of medicines.

Most chemists in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka also shut shop today in support of the nationwide shutdown called by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists in protest against ‘stringent’ rules in sale of medicines.

Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association General Secretary Natarajan said nearly 20,000 of the 30,000 medical shops in the state remained closed. The remaining shops were open, but employees wore black badges in protest.