Gujarat chemists join nationwide strike

Around 14,000 chemists and druggists across Gujarat on Friday kept their shutters down.

Updated: May 10, 2013, 15:53 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Around 14,000 chemists and druggists across Gujarat Friday kept their shutters down and joined the strike call given by the All India Chemists and Druggists Association in protest of Central Government`s new drug policy.

"Nearly 14,000 medical stores remained closed today and joined the one-day strike call given by our national association in protest of draconian provisions in the new drug policy of the Centre," President Federation of Gujarat State Chemists and Druggists Association Jashvant Patel said.
"We are objecting to the provisions made in Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 2008 which stipulates action against chemists and druggists too who may be found selling spurious drugs," said Patel.

"We are opposing this as we are merely sellers, not manufacturers and government is treating us like terrorists," he added.

"We welcome the strict legal provisions to reduce the presence of spurious drugs in the market but in that effort, we should be made witnesses not accused," he urged.

"Keeping the humanitarian aspect attached to our business we have kept one medical store open in every city, town and near hospitals to cater the emergency need of the patients," he said.
"National Association is also opposing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail and Supreme Court guideline asking druggists and chemists to reduce their profit margin from 20 per cent to 16 per cent," said Patel.

He also said that, "instead of targeting small profit margins of chemists, government should focus on multinational drug companies who are having more than 300 per cent of profit margin."