Chemists on nationwide strike today

Chemists on nationwide strike today Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: An all India grouping of chemists and druggists called for a nationwide bandh on Friday to protest against the "unjustified" government policies, which include reduction in prices of medicines and implementation of FDI in the sector.

Nearly 7.5 lakh chemists and druggists, representing All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), are taking part in the strike, an official release said here.

The agitation was against the "unjustified government policies," the release said.

"Considering the rising operational costs, we demand to maintain the trade margins of medicines and not to reduce it in the forthcoming Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013," it said.

The association also demands resolution of the long-pending issue of shortage of pharmacists, and a suitable amendment to Rule 65(15)(c) of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules to allow the partner/proprietor to dispense the medicines.

The release also said that government should not permit foreign direct investments (FDI) in distribution and retailing of medicines as families of 25 lakh employees were dependent on the sector.

"We have forwarded the memorandum of our demands before the concerned ministries, authorities....We are requesting government to resolve the burning issues of pharmaceutical dealers," Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggists Association (MSCDA) president J S Shinde said in the release.

With PTI Inputs