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Chemists to go on three days’ strike in Maharashtra

maharashtra Chemists

The chemist associations are protesting the FDA’s crackdown on chemists operating without qualified pharmacists

maharashtra ChemistsMumbai: In response to the alleged draconian interpretation of Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940, of the Mahrashtra FDA, Chemists in Maharashtra have decided to observe bandh from December 16 to 18.

The chemist associations are protesting the FDA’s crackdown on chemists operating without qualified pharmacists.

There are around 55,000 chemists in Maharashtra of which 7,000 operate in Mumbai. Chemists are now agitating against the Maharashtra FDA new rule, under which the patients will have to get new prescription every time they visit a chemist shop to purchase regularly used medicines, to be taken for life time diseases like asthma, blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis etc.

If the patient does not have the valid prescription written by a qualified doctor, the chemists will not be able to dispense the medicines.

FDA had asked chemists to sell medicines on prescription that fall under the schedules prescribed by the Centre.

The patient will have to get the prescription only from qualified allopathic doctor to get allopathic medicine.

The people from the slum and interior areas will suffer most as there are hardly any allopathic doctors practicing in the said areas, the Retail & Dispensing Chemists Association said in a statement here.

In rural areas, the problem will be more pronounced as in a radius of 20 kms there are hardly any qualified doctors, the release said.

Though prescriptions written in hospitals sometimes are not as per the FDA’s new norms, the chemists, on humanitarian ground, dispense the medicines to the patients.

Sometimes at late night, sensing the emergency, chemists dispense medicines without looking into whether the patient has a proper prescription or not.

But, according to Maharashtra FDA, the law has to be followed even at the cost of the patient’s life, which may drastically affect the health care system of the society, the association said.

If the FDA doesn’t stop implementing the law in a “draconian” way without looking into practicality, the chemists will be forced to go on an indefinite strike, it said.


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