Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar , Oct 14:
More than 18,000 medicine shops in Odisha are participating in the nation-wide 24 hour strike of chemists protesting online sale of medicines, today.
The 18,000 medicine stores in the state will remain closed till midnight in the state. The medicine sellers strike is spearheaded by Utkal Chemists and Druggists Association.
“Around 8 lakh medicine stores in India will go on strike while 18,000 medicine stores across the state will remain closed in protest. We will give memorandum at all levels from district collector to the governor”, said Prasanta Mohapatra, President Utkal chemists and Druggists Association (UCDA).
He pointed out that online sale of medicines will lead to unabated misuse of drugs and government should not allow this to happen.
Amid worries that this might lead to medicine shortage in the state, health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has said that strike is not acceptable.
“There should be some justice in a protest; medicines cannot be equated with atta, dal or rice. They can protest without going on strike and keeping a positive attitude towards people”, said Nayak.
Over eight lakh chemists across the country will shut their shops for a day on Wednesday to oppose the central government’s alleged move to regularise the sale of medicines through e-pharmacies on the Internet.
They also warned of an indefinite strike if the government failed to address the issue within a week.
“Internet pharmacy is a new platform for the sale of medicines for the last one year. It is completely illegal and we have even apprised higher authorities that such sale of medicines is a violation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, which talks of proper prescription by doctors,” All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) president J.S. Sinde had said on October 12th, according to IANS.
A delegation of AIOCD has submitted a memorandum of demands to several authorities, including the Prime Minister’s Office, the health ministry, the Drug Controller General of India and state authorities, he said.