AIOCD asks its over 8 lakh chemist members to boycott online business
New Delhi: In the wake of the increasing trend of online sale of drugs with prominent names- Amazon and Reliance joining the trail, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has asked the chemists across the country to boycott E-Commerce business to save neighborhood shopkeepers.
In the recent past, Amazon had announced the start of e-pharmacy from Bangalore, followed by Reliance that forayed into the online drug sale business by acquiring the majority stake in Netmeds for Rs 620 crore, which, as per AIOCD is illegal.
It has to be noted that the chemist body was directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the video conference on 21 March to ensure the availability of the medicines in every nook & corner of the country before the start of the lockdown.
"This commitment has been kept by all 8.50 lakh chemists of our country, like other corona warriors. Even though our 250 chemist brothers have also been martyred while doing public, service in this battle of Corona but we have even not deviated from our role of Public Health-Guard, " confirmed AIOCD, General Secretary, Rajiv Singhal in a letter to the government
However, the advancement of the online sale of drugs has recently been alarming for the chemist across the country, who are objecting the move in order to save their livelihoods. Clarifying their concern, the chemist body mentioned in their submission;
"Like other Corona Warriors, we also requested the government to give insurance or give Corona insurance at the government fixed rate, but it was not even heard but still, all 8.50 lakh chemists of the country are fulfilling their responsibilities for the people. We did not get distracted by the role of health care, but today it is time to save our livelihood."
The body also raised some grave questions in their written submission, "What will happen to the Prime Minister's slogan of 'Self-reliant India' when the trade of chemists employing crores in their self-trade in the country will be occupied by only two to three big Indians and foreigners and only a few people will be in the country for medicine they will run your monopoly and do all your recovery arbitrarily by then it will be late."
AIOCD president J S Shinde further elaborated that the medicine dealers / Pharmacists / Chemists of the country have been taking care of their business by their own capital, following the drug act, pharmacy laws, and other laws of the country.
"Our 8.50 lakh chemists and pharmacists are feeding 50 lakh members of their family and about 50 lakh employees, and 2.50 crore of their family members. We have proved our commitment to the people of our country as 'Custodian of Health' and as protectors of public health in the past and during this pandemic also," Shinde added.
Furthermore, AIOCD stated, "We indirectly are also promoting online and if we, and all the bricks and mortar/or offline retailers/small shopkeepers and millions of their families and our staff boycott online purchases ourselves, then we together can teach them a lesson."
Recalling the slogan of 'Vocal for Local', AIOCD also presented their gratitude to the neighborhood shopkeepers for their pivotal role in the Corona era.