Goa chemists to join nationwide strike on Oct 14

Panaji, Oct 10 (IANS) Over 1,000 wholesale and retail chemists in Goa will join a nationwide one-day strike on October 14 to protest the central government’s attempts to regularise online sale of medicines.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Saturday, Prasad Tamba, president of the Chemists and Druggists Association of Goa, said that allowing online sale of all medicines would render over two crore employees working in chemists and druggists stores across the country jobless.

“We are going on a one-day strike in solidarity with eight lakh chemists across the country. In Goa, from October 13 midnight, about 750 retail chemists and over 200 wholesale druggists will be on strike for 24 hours,” Tamba said.

Tamba also said that under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, sale of drugs and medicines over the internet was illegal and prone to risk and fraud.

“Prescriptions uploaded to websites online can be prone to fraud and duplication. It can cause serious problems as far as Scheduled ‘H’ drugs and addictive are concerned,” Tamba said.

Scheduled ‘H’ drugs fall under the purview of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act and can be purchased with medical prescriptions only.

“Internet online pharmacies are supplying all the goods like I-pill, pregnancy prevention kits, anti-depressants, habit-forming drugs, cough syrups containing codeine, sexual stimulants without confirming the authenticity of prescription and patient,” Tamba said.

He also said that the central government’s move to regularise sale of medicines over the internet would be opposed by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists, to which the local association is affiliated.

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