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Consumers in a Fix as Druggists Cut Discounts

Published: 12th April 2016 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th April 2016 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

COIMBATORE: Following a steep decline in medicine prices, several pharmacies across Coimbatore district have withdrawn 20 per cent discount on MRP price recently. The decision was taken during the recently convened Coimbatore district chemists and druggists association meeting and the pharmacies have started selling eight and 10 per cent discount to the patients uniformly.

Patients, who visited medical shops that were selling medicines for 20 per cent discount, were shocked after the shops had placed a noticed board mentioning that they will sell medicines only for 10 per cent discount.

“We were happy when the pharmacies provided 20 per cent discount. Even though they have reduced it to 10 per cent now we have no other option and we have to buy the medicines as it is essential,” said Dhanabal of Saravanampatti.

A Karuppaiah, president of Coimbatore District Chemists and Druggists Association told Express that their members decided to sell medicines for 10 per cent discount due to  setback in the business.   

“In the last one year, price of medicines has come down drastically and the pharmacies have been facing down turn. A year before, the Central government had reduced the prices of as many as 200 tablets. It also reduced the price of other 130 tablets three months ago. Earlier, we were receiving 18 per cent margin from retail sales. However it has been reduced to 14 per cent now,” said Karuppaiah.

“Three medical shops in the district are facing closure and a few of them are in debt after they have started selling medicines for 20 per cent discount in the last two years. One of the shops providing discount for 20 per cent will also directly impact the sales of  other pharmacies. Hence, we have decided to fix 10 per cent discount for medicines uniformly,” he added

According to him, VJ, Cura, Prakash Medicals and Aarokiya Pharmacies which were giving 20 per cent discount have reduced it to 10 per cent. Cura Pharmacy owner B Rajesh agreed that they were forced to fix 10 per cent, following steep fall of price of medicines in the last three years.

Sumathi, a staff at Prakash Medicals near Ramanathapuram, said they have started selling medicines for eight per cent since last Wednesday after other pharmacy owners opposed 20 per cent discount on MRP.

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