Chemists, druggists body fined for unfair trade practices by Competition Commission
Besides slapping a penalty of Rs 47.41 lakh on All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD), the Commission has directed AIOCD members to "cease and desist from indulging in and following the practices which have been found anti-competitive".
"It is evident that AIOCD because of its position is able to continuously engage in limiting and controlling the supply and market and influencing the prices of the drugs and pharmaceutical products by insisting upon No Objection Certificate (NOC) for appointment of stockists, fixation of trade margins etc," the Commission said in a order.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI), which keeps tab on anti-competitive practices across sectors, has directed AIOCD to pay the penalty within 60 days from receiving the copy of the order dated February 19.
According to the fair trade regulator, AIOCD has full control over the stockists of drugs and medicines across the country and the membership is now open only to the State Chemists & Druggists Associations.
The Commission has asked AIOCD to discontinue the practice of granting No Objection Certificate for appointment of stockists, fixation of trade margins besides doing away with boycott of products of pharmaceutical companies.
"It (AIOCD) shall also inform all Chemists & Druggists and all its members and associations by sending a circular/letter that they were free to give discounts to the customers," the order
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