Chemists across India to go on strike today

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Medicines were, however, available at shops inside hospitals.

The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association has said online pharmacy will only enable transparent drug dispensing mechanism as the entire procedure will be tracked, reported The Indian Express.

According to a report in the The Times of India, the retailers will be on strike for one day and also hold a demonstration at the Jantar Mantar. We had asked the shops near hospitals to stay open because we did not want to inconvenience patients", said Jagannath Shinde, president of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD)."The government informed us in March no chemist shop can operate without registering with the e-portal.

"This is an absolutely wrong idea in a country like India where it will have long-term repercussions". "If the government doesn't reconsider its decision on e-portal proposal, we may have to go for an indefinite strike", Shinde added. "Though online purchase of medicine is legal in advanced countries, in our country with low computer literacy and extremely weak regulation of the drug industry, the initiative will have serious consequences for public health", he told The Hindu.

Utkal Chemist and Drugist Association in the state also supporting this stir.

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Aditya Jain and Mannat Luthra , both from Bhavan Vidyalaya in Chandigarh , came joint third with 99.2 per cent marks. However, Delhi High court shot down the proposal, saying the rules can not be changed at the eleventh hour.

From today midnight to tomorrow midnight all medicine stores will close across the state.

"It is unfortunate that instead of leveraging these technologies to improve their business and the experience of patients, the AIOCD has chosen to take a negative stance", he says.

Under the goods and services tax programme, the government has proposed to set up an e-platform to regulate the supply of quality drugs and curb anti-microbial resistance.

RDCA said almost 14,000 chemist shops were shut in Delhi alone on Tuesday but almost 3,000 were allowed to do business keeping patients' interests in mind. They have three reasons for this-to oppose online pharmacies, to speak up against the e-portal as mandated by the government, and to have their views on the Central drug act amendment, where the government has mandated the presence of pharmacies in all stores, be taken into consideration.