Mumbai: Over 50,000 retail and wholesale pharmacists and chemists in
Maharashtra Friday joined the all-India strike called by the All
India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists Associations (AIOCDA)
in support of various demands, a top official said.
Around 7,500 retail and wholesale pharmacists from Mumbai are also
taking part in the nationwide agitation involving around 700,000
retail and wholesale pharmacists, said Pharmaceutical Wholesalers
and Retailers Association (PWRA) president Dilip A. Mehta.
"We want the margins of the retail chemists to be maintained in
the proposed new drug policy, and oppose foreign direct investment
in this sector," Mehta told IANS.
Besides, the PWRA has demanded that in Maharashtra, the issue of
appointing a full-time chemist in all pharmacy shops must be
resolved amicably without harassment by the Food and Drugs
"We also demand that we should not be victimised for fake or
sub-standard drugs since we do not know what is contained in the
packages that are sold. We also strongly oppose Local Body Tax in
Maharashtra," Mehta declared.
All chemist shops, including those operating round-the-clock, have
remained shut from midnight onwards in response to the strike
call, inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of customers already
suffering due to the four-day anti-Local Body Tax strike in the
Friday's token stir by AIOCDA has the support of more than two
dozen affiliated pharmacists' and chemists' organisations across
the state, including retailers, wholesalers and distributors.