Bengaluru, Sep 28 2018 DHNS: Chemists and druggists in the state are likely to be closed on Friday in protest against the Centre’s move to register e-pharmacy websites that sell medicines online.
Karnataka Chemists and Druggists Association (KCDA) president R Raghunath Reddy said the association has a membership of 24,000 stores in Karnataka. “All of them, including 6,500 in Bengaluru, will stay shut,” he said.
The Bangalore City Druggists and Chemists Association said their decision to down shutters depends on the extent of cooperation by private players. “If private chemists are open, we will ask our members to function,” said Ravindra.
A few hundred medical shops belonging to different factions and those inside hospitals and nursing homes will not be affected.
The Centre’s draft rules on sale of online drugs are being opposed by associations which fear that online shops will pose a threat to their business with discounts and trade wars.
“There are scheduled, habit-forming and psychotropic drugs which need proper prescriptions. We are against the sale of such drugs online with offers of unimaginable discounts to consumers,” Reddy said.
The pharmacies attached to government and private hospitals, and nursing homes will remain open. The Health Department has already issued a circular directing all health workers to ensure that there are enough drugs stocked on the day of bandh.
Organisations like the SKCDA have opposed the strike though they are also against the registration of e-pharmacies. V Harikrishanan, president of SKCDA, said the Centre does not have the jurisdiction to register e-pharmacies. The SKCDA has about 15,000 members throughout the state, with over 3,017 members in Bengaluru.