Members of Bangalore District Chemists’ and Druggists’ Association (BDCDA) supported the nationwide strike called by the All India Chemists’ and Druggists’ Association on Friday by shutting down medical stores in protest against the steep cut in profits as proposed in the new drug policy.
Indian Pharmaceutical Association president Veera Narayan Gowda, said, “About 1,000 members assembled at Freedom Park demanding reduction in prices on wholesale and retail drugs, fixed by the Union government. Later, representatives from Bangalore handed over a memorandum of demands to State Drug Controller director Dr B R Jagashetty.”
Almost all medical stores were closed from 10 am to 6 pm across the country. “The protest is only partial, if our demands are not met, we will take the next step accordingly”, Gowda said.
In view of the inconvenience caused to the public, the Association asked drug store owners to open shop in the evening.
Doctors of Pharmacy Association president Katam Sai Kumar, said, “They have demanded that people who do not have knowledge about pharmacy and its implications be allowed to sell medicines at shops. People’s health will be at stake and pharmacy will be devalued, hence we will not support them.”
Dr B R Jagashetty, said, “Druggists feel that the prices of retail and wholesale drugs will be slashed and their percentage will be affected, but it is not true. They have given a memorandum with demands like declaring a medical store owner who has five years’ experience as pharmacist, no foreign direct investment in drug and pharmacy sector. We will send it to Delhi.”