HYDERABAD: All pharmacies in the state would be closed on October 14 in support of a bandh call given by the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) opposing the Centre’s towards implementing online sale of medicines through e-pharmacies.
The Telangana Drug Control Administration (DCA) had earlier said that sale of drugs online was is in contravention of provisions under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules, 1945.
With medical store owners deciding to down the shutters for 24-hours starting October 13 midnight, people might face some inconvenience. However, officials of Telangana Drug Control Administration (DCA) said that medical stores attached to government and private hospitals would be open on October 14. Some of the chain medical stores might also be open.
Deputy director of the DCA M Amruth Rao said in case of emergencies, people can contact local drug inspector or assistant director. Phone numbers of the official concerned are available at www.dca.telangana.gov.in In September, a sub-committee was constituted by the Drugs Consultative Committee, which invited suggestions on online sale of medicines from general public and trade bodies.
The sub-committee, which was headed by Dr Harshadeep Kamble, commissioner of Food and Drugs Administration,, Maharashtra, would examine the issue, look into provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics act, 1940, evaluate risks and concerns related to such sale and its impact on public health.
AIOCD president J S Shinde said, “We will observe the bandh. After the one-day strike, we will meet health minister, and principal secretary of health and family welfare department.’’
AIOCD said that the medical shops recorded 20 to 40 per cent drop in business because of e-portals selling drugs. Business to the tone of Rs 90,000 crore per annum is done by about eight lakh chemists and druggists throughout the country. Shinde said that the online sale would allow misbranded and spurious products to get into the market and this can pose a serious problem to patients.