Chemists in Delhi to go on strike on March 15

Proposed drug pricing policy lowers their commission

By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Opposing the new bill on drug pricing policy, all medical shops in Delhi will remain closed on March 15. The All India Chemist and Distributors Federation is also planning to stage protests at Jantar Mantar.

The federation is opposing the new policy in which the average price of drugs would be the formula to set the price for all essential drugs. As per the policy, the retailer chemists will get 16 per cent commission as opposed to the present 20 per cent.

Kailash Gupta, president of the federation, said the government is under pressure of foreign pharma companies and is going to exploit chemists.
In the new average policy, even the cheaper medicines would become costlier and profit of pharma companies will increase manifold, but the retailers would suffer. “So, if the policy supports these huge pharma companies, why is it reducing the share of chemists?” he asks, demanding the existing 20 per cent commission to be continued in the new policy.

However, there are people who don’t find these demands valid.

S Srinivasan of All India Drug Action Network says most of the times the retailers set their price after negotiations with pharma company and get up to 50 percent margin at times but they are not talking about this part. “The new policy will cover only 12 to 20 percent of drugs available in the market. As per the estimation, pharmaceuticals market in the country is around Rs 60,000 crore and if the new policy is implemented, only Rs 12 to 16 thousand crores market would come under its purview. So why are they not talking about it?”

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