CCDA to expand its activities all over TN, likely to stake claim for official status of state branch of AIOCD

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, ChennaiWednesday, May 16, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Chennai Chemists and Druggists Association (CCDA), the rebel faction of the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association (TNCDA), is likely to stake claim for official status of state branch of the national trade body, AIOCD, soon after CCDA launches its state organisation next month, sources informed.

Sources from the CCDA informed that they would hold the district office-bearers meeting next month in Chennai. Discussions are going on with all the supporting district office-bearers of the TNCDA. Very good responses are coming from all the districts. According to CCDA, 26 district committees out of the 31 TNCDA district forums in the state are supporting CCDA’s efforts to launch a new trade body. The feedback from the retail chemists shows that they are disappointed over the way the present administration of the TNCDA is acting. They are alleging that the general secretary of the association does not pay any heed to the complaints and issues of the member traders.

CCDA is the first pharmaceutical traders’ organisation formed in Chennai for the welfare of the drug traders. After AIOCD’s formation, CCDA became part of its state branch. It is alleged that along with the progress of the organisation, factionalism also developed in the trade body. It has reached its paramount level after the present administrative committee came into power three years ago. Both the general secretary and the office administration secretary do not pay any attention to resolve the genuine problems of the members, they allege.

Meanwhile, CCDA office-bearers have started discussions with the distributors’ forum, Tamil Nadu Pharmaceutical Distributors Association (TNPDA) for their support and alliance. TNPDA has more than 2000 members all over Tamil Nadu; very few percent of them are retailers. CCDA hopes that the influence of the distributors association can help them mobilise retail drug traders in all the districts.

When Pharmabiz contacted the office-bearers of the TNPDA, a senior EC member said currently no discussion is going on between CCDA and TNPDA, but chances are not ruled out as the distributors body wants the support of the retailers. CCDA is the leading retailers’ organisation in Chennai district.

Responding to queries from Pharmabiz, the chairman of the High Power Committee of the Consortium of Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Marketers Association (CIPMMA), A Kannan, said the members of his organisation are neither retailers nor wholesalers. They are marketers and manufacturers of medicines. At present the association does not want to merge with retailers’ body. But the response of the president of the Chennai Chemists Welfare Committee (CCWC), a subsidiary organisation of TNCDA, makes it clear that TNCDA is likely to take a distance from CIPMMA soon because the CCWC will ask for 10% and 20% margin from CIPMMA for  purchasing their products.

According to Selvakumar, the president of CCWC, last year in a meeting held at the TNCDA office at Egmore, CIPMMA had agreed to review their margin being paid to TNCDA. But, they have not increased the margin so far, and giving only 16% and 8%. He said big pharma players and multinational companies are giving 10% and 20% except DPCO category drugs.

From the statement of Selvakumar, the traders’ community hopes that CIPMMA cannot continue their business ties with TNCDA for long, and it may consider an association with CCDA in Chennai with a view to extent the relation further to other districts shortly.