The Maharashtra government will cancel the registration of chemists who force customers to buy a greater quantity of medicines than prescribed, food, drugs and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat said here today. “It is binding upon chemists to sell medicines as per the prescription….people go to a chemist to buy a particular quantity (number of tablets) as prescribed, but the chemist sometimes sells more than what is needed (forcing to buy a whole strip, for e.g., when fewer tablets are prescribed). Those who are found to be violating the rules will lose their licenses,” Bapat said, talking to reporters.
The minister also called on chemists to rethink of their strike today against online sale of medicines. “Online sale is happening not only in India but globally. The Centre will soon come out with a law on online sale and also start a website where consumers can upload prescriptions which will be then routed to online chemists,” he said.
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He was willing to take a delegation of chemists to meet the concerned union ministers if they had any specific grievances, Bapat said. The Centre had set up a committee headed by the then Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration commissioner Harshadeep Kamble for regulation of online sale, he said.
“The report has been submitted to the Centre. Soon a law will be framed. It is not right for chemists to go on strike before the law is framed,” Bapat said.
The chemists’ strike got lukewarm response in the state, and very few medical shops remained closed, the minister claimed, adding that all the 24-hour medical shops outside hospitals were open.