Chemists to shut shop for 3 days

Published: 16 December, 2013 06:49 IST | Neha LM Tripathi |

The protest, which starts today, has been called by chemists' association to express anguish over FDA's diktat of making prescription compulsory for patients every time they visit pharmacies; FDA warns protestors of invoking MESMA

Stating that the new directive issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was not only bothering them, but was also acting as a threat to public healthcare, members of the Retail and Dispensing Chemists Association (RDCA), Mumbai, have decided to go on a strike from December 16 to December 18.

This strike will witness participation of chemists from all over the state. “As per the new FDA rule, patients will have to get a new prescription every time they visit a chemist’s shop to purchase regularly used medicines needed for lifetime diseases (asthma, diabetes, arthritis, etc.). This means a chemist won’t be able to give medicine if patients lack a prescription,” said RDCA Secretary Prasad Danave.

“As per the FDA, laws must be followed even at the cost of a patient’s life. This may severely affect the healthcare of the society,” felt Prasad. But FDA Joint Commissioner (Vigilance) Shailesh Kale said, “Pharmacy) is declared as an essential service under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA). It will be invoked against those shutting shops.”

FDA officials claimed chemists located inside hospitals, along with a few renowned ones like Wellness Forever, Apollo Pharmacy and those in Apna Bazaar, would cater to people during the strike. Besides, FDA inspectors from every area can be contacted for emergencies during these three days. (See box for contact details)

In case of emergency during strike, contact here:
>> South Mumbai: U G Waghmare - 9867727713
>> Byculla to Sion: B A Mahanwar - 9892335943
>> Kurla, Ghatkopar and Chembur to Govandi: B B Dusane - 9867302218
>> Bandra, Sakinaka, Mulund, Bhandup and Vikhroli: P V Pawar - 9967467503
>> Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Santacruz: V S Singhvi - 9892832814
>> Goregaon, Malad and Kandivli: N D Devre - 9892837073
>> Borivli and Dahisar: D A Jadhav - 9867284525 

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