The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has urged all medical shops to close shutters on Tuesday to register its protest against the sale of medicines online. The Seemandhra Drug Dealers’ Association, the State body, has expressed solidarity with the bandh call given by the apex body.
The Krishna District Wholesale Trade Association is one of the associations that supports total bandh. Association president and Managing Director of Fizikem Pharma C.C. Kesava Rao said online sale of medicines threatened the lives of 50 lakh employees working in nine lakh retail outlets across the country.
In onlinesale, there was no control over dispensing of drugs. Only 20% of the medicines that were dispensed from retail outlets were labelled over thecounter drugs and the remaining 80% had to be dispensed only when therewas a prescription.
The sale of medicines is governed by several laws, rules and regulations.
Many of the drugs available should be dispensed only by qualified pharmacists.
TheDrug Control Department booked cases and suspended licences when Scheduled drugs were dispensed by persons without proper qualifications.Nothing of this sort could be done when it came to online sale, Mr. Raopointed out.Medicalshops enjoy the protection of essential services and so several permissions are required to shut them down. Special permissions have to be granted by the district Collector if all medical shops have to down their shutters.
Mr. Patnaik said a few “chain shops” were taking orders on telephone and delivering medicines at the doorstep. This was objectionable as in online retail asseveral laws and rules were violated.
A pamphlet issued by the AIOCD alleged that sale of medicines online could increase substance abuse, morbidity and mortality due to drug reaction and resistance due to over use of antibiotics and other such formulations.