HYDERABAD: Chemists and druggists across India, who are feeling the pinch from online sale of drugs stated they do not have any other option but down their shutters on October 14, opposing Central government’s move to allow sale of drugs through internet. Association of Chemists in Telangana and Hyderabad also expressed support for the bandh.
About eight lakh chemists and druggists throughout the country do business to a tune of `90,000 crore per annum. There is a dip of 20 to 40 per cent in the business because of e-portals selling the drugs.
Apart from increase in risk of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR), the online sale of medicines would ease entry of low quality, misbranded and spurious medicines, said All-India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), which declared nationalwide chemists’ bandh.
On September 21, Drugs Consultative Committee issued a public notice stating a sub-committee was formed under chairmanship of Dr Harshadeep Kamble, Commissioner of Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), who would look into sale of medicines over internet by certain web portals.
The sub-committee invited suggestions and comments from general public, trade bodies and others, on the subject. “Habit forming drugs are easily available at the web portals, which might lead to drug abuse. There, medicines can be bought without prescription from a doctor. A consumer uses his discretion, places orders, and medicines are delivered,” said J S Shinde, president of AIOCD. He also said the such sales should be stopped.
In April, Telangana Drug Control Administration cracked down on online pharmacies in Telangana. Director of DCA Akun Sabharwal said that sale of all drugs online amounts to contravention of provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules, 1945.
President of AIOCD said that they submitted list of objections to the sub-committee about the online sale. “We listed down side effects of habit forming drugs, tranquilizers, how it effects health of people,” Shinde said.