Retailers ask Govt to ban discount by Medical Store

They further want the government to stop operations of discount pharmacies that are creating health issues under the pretext of giving discounts to customers.

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Pharmacist Medical Store
Picture: Wikimedia.org

Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by The Health Master

Retail chemists across the country want the central government to introduce a uniform structure for medicine sales at a pan-India level.

They further want the government to stop operations of discount pharmacies that are creating health issues under the pretext of giving discounts to customers.

The retailers’ argument is that the conventional system of medicine business in India caters to the medication needs of all the needy patients by selling genuine drugs which are manufactured through impeccable quality-control practices and passed through all regulatory procedures.

This kind of MRP based sale of medicines does not create competition in the market and the drugs sold this way are manufactured and supplied by popular manufactures whose products are unlikely to account for any kind of adverse reaction.  

According to them, branded or generic products manufactured and supplied by leading manufacturing companies are complying with internationally accepted practices.

Their products can be taken with hundred percent safety on quality aspects and standards, but cannot be expected to compromise on prices as they are sold on the rates fixed by the government. The sellers get only the commission prescribed by the authorities.

Recently an issue on discount sale of medicines was raised by the Delhi based pharma traders’ association, Retail and Distribution Chemist Alliance (RDCA), who wanted the state government to put an end to the unethical practice of discount sales in the medicine business.

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Picture: Pixabay

Talking about the anomalies prevailing in the medicine trade, Sandeep Nangia, president of the Delhi RDCA, said a lot of pharmacies offer heavy discounts ranging from 10% to 80% and they give wide publicity on the discounts in order to lure customers.

But nobody cares about the quality and standard of the medicines, and what impact they create on the patients.

He said this is an unethical trade practice which has to be stopped by the government immediately as the medicine trade is controlled by various drug laws and the price is fixed by the government authority with a controlling mechanism for any kind of violations.

According to Nangia, RDCA or any trade association is not against giving discounts to people, but he wants an answer to a question of what price fixing and controlling mechanism is introduced in the country if anybody can deviate from the MRP citing humanitarian purposes or under social services.

He said prices of quality products of standard companies cannot be compromised by offering heavy discounts.

Discount pharmacies are doing malpractices in business and it is mostly done by some chain pharmacies and online traders.

In place of discounts, the government can bring several reform measures to help the medication needs of the people.  

Commenting on the Delhi government’s recent step to curtail discounts on liquor sales, T Natarajan, president of the Chennai Chemists and Druggists Association has opined that all state governments in the country should take similar steps on pharmaceutical sales as advertisement on discounts will affect the quality aspects of medicines.

For the well-being of the people of the nation, the government should stop discount sales of medicines. But the government can opt for some other measures to help people who need medicines for chronic ailments.

Prasanth Kumar Rath, president of Sambalpur District Committee of Odisha Chemists and Druggists Association (OCDA) has wanted the government of Odisha to ban discount pharmacies as their business is unethical and it may lead to supply of spurious medicines in the market.

He said he will bring a proposal in the AGM of OCDA demanding statewide agitation against this kind of cheating by certain chain medical shops in the name of discounts. He said the association will conduct awareness programs for the common public about the operation of discount pharmacies and expose to them the differences between quality products and substandard ones.

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