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CONCERNS OF PHARMA TRADE

P A Francis
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Once again, India’s pharmaceutical trade is in an agitation mood. This time also, the trade has some serious issues which should not be ignored. The All India Organization of Chemists & Druggists has called for a nationwide strike on May 30 to protest against the health ministry's proposals to regulate sales of drugs through e-portal and allow online trade in pharmaceutical products. The trade body had already sent a representation to the Union health ministry seeking a rollback of the draft notification seeking to implement an e-platform for the pharma trade on March 16. It has not received any positive response from the ministry as yet. As per the draft notification, all pharma companies will be required to register themselves with the e-portal and enter data relating to sale of drugs on the e-platform to distributors, stockists and wholesalers with batch number, quantity supplied and expiry date of the batch. All stockists and wholesalers will be required to enter details of stocks received and supplied by them to distributors or retailers. The move to legalize online trading of pharmaceutical products is another disturbing issue the trade has been objecting to for some time now. It is a fact that with the commencement of operations of some of the large online pharmacies have already affected the viability of several thousands of chemists across the country.

With these two proposed reforms, the worst affected segment will be the pharmaceutical trade as most of the operators in this trade are the people with limited financial capability and technical expertise. According to AIOCD, the plan to set up the e-portal to regulate sale of medicines is totally unfeasible on account of various reasons. Considering the insufficient IT infrastructure across the country, it will be difficult for most of the stockists and chemists to upload the details of the sales on the e-portal within a stipulated period. The retail chemists located in rural or remote areas need to upload data either through mobile phones or through internet at least once in every fortnight. No retailer shall be permitted to sell any medicine unless such pharmacy is registered on the e-portal. And creation of e-portal to monitor sale of drugs without adequate regulatory machinery for recording the medicines manufactured in the country and their supplies to the stockiest and sale of medicines to the customers will not bring the desired result. In case of allowing internet sales of medicines throughout the country too, there are serious regulatory issues to be addressed by the health ministry. Currently, drug sale is regulated by state licensing authorities whereas the online sale of medicines is proposed to be registered with central drug control authority. This can create chaos and lack of coordination between the central and state licensing authorities especially when there is already a shortage of drug inspectors and poor infrastructure facilities in the country. Considering these practical problems, it will be prudent on the part of the health ministry to have detailed deliberations with the trade, pharmaceutical industry and medical experts before rushing with these reforms.

 

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Yash Shah Jul 7, 2017 10:49 PM
AIOCD is absolutely right for this

No law for prescription in country...I can take medicine online as many times as I want.

There are many jobs linked with the channel partner.

If 35 to 40% goes with channel partner...first evaluate market and then say how much they get...all are not getting good amount from it.

Most important thing here is epharmacy is not like Domino's 30 min delivery...so not for emergency medicine...only useful for chronic diseases where you purchase medicine continuously online because of only one factor that is discount.




Vivek Hattangadi May 29, 2017 11:40 AM
AIOCD has always been thinking of its member's benefits - never of patients.

Except for the pharma industry is there any other industry paying cumulatively up to 35% to these middlemen?

20% to retailers, 10% to stockists 2-7% to C&Fs (depending on turnover)! And yet every other day they want to cry for wanting more profits.

The attitude of AIOCD is patient-unfriendly and often smells only of greed
Vivek Hattangadi May 29, 2017 11:37 AM
AIOCD has always been thinking of its member's benefits - never of patients.

Except for the pharma industry is there any other industry paying cumulatively up to 35% to these middlemen?

20% to retailers, 10% to stockists 2-7% to C&Fs (depending on turnover)! And yet every other day they want to cry for wanting more profits.

The attitude of AIOCD is patient-unfriendly and often smells only of greed
 
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