All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD), an apex body of about eight lakh members involved in sale & distribution of medicines, on Wednesday called for a nationwide strike on November 23 demanding action from the Centre against “illegal” online sale of medicines.
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“We have opposed the move of Central government towards regularising sale of medicines through internet ie E-pharmacy. We have called for a nationwide strike on November 23 to protect the health of the general public as well as the interest of our 8 lakh chemists and 80 lakh workers & their families,” AIOCD president J S Shinde said in a statement.
“We should thoroughly study the risk and threats observed in E-pharmacy business by the advanced countries which allowed the internet pharmacy with strict necessary infrastructure and manpower with good governance,” Shinde said.
He also said that various courts seem serious on the impact of online sales of medicine on public health, but the government authorities have not taken the issue seriously and seem to be ignorant on the issue related to public health.
We would like to draw the attention of public, government and concerned authorities towards various issues like sale of medicines on internet, which is totally illegal as per present provision of Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945, increasing risk of adverse drug reaction (ADR), easy opening to entry of low quality, misbranded & spurious medicines, big threat of irrational use of medicines, big threat of drug addiction in youth due to easy availability of schedule & prescription medicine through internet, he said.
Presently, online pharmacy business is going on illegally and government authorities are not taking any action against them inspite of foolproof evidence submitted to drug authorities, the statement said.
Internet online pharmacies are supplying all the prescription and schedule medicines like anti-depression, habit forming drugs, I-pill, MTP kits, codeine cough syrups without confirming the authenticity of prescription and the patient, who become victims of the illegal process, it added.