They say it is a unsafe scenario and can lead to counterfeiting and irrational usage of medicines which could lead to drug reactions. There are above 17,000 medicine stores in the state. Moreover the ministry should rather make doctors compulsory to register themselves with the portal and enter data related to prescribe drugs, he added.
Stating they have already held several discussions with the Centre, AIOCD president Jagannath Shinde said, "The association believes that the proposal of e-portal will lead to scarcity of medicines in the country".
Under the plan, chemists will have to upload details of all medicines purchased and sold on the e-platform and will have to pay a transaction fee to support the cost of running the system. Pharmacies in private hospitals will cater only to in-patients. An apex body of chemists has called the strike in protest against the stringent regulations on the sale of medicines. Having said that, the strike will be very inconvenient for patients and can even cause serious repercussions.
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The department has gathered all the information about the supply of medicines in the districts. Retail chemist shop owners claim that selling medicines online makes it hard to verify drug quality, and makes sale of psychotropic substances easier.
As per Prashant and other sources within the industry, the real reason for the protest is the health ministry notification endorsing the benefits of digital traceability in the pharmaceutical supply chain, which is a key benefit of the e-pharmacy model.
"As per the GST we need provide all those details to the government to get input tax credit, so what's the objective of having another platform that duplicates the same function", Shinde added. But since to the grievances, there was no response; the pharmacists say that they compelled to observe a strike, the organization told the Times of India.