Maharashtra chemists call off agitation after CM's assurance

Jun 25, 2013, 21:40 IST | PTI

Around 55,000 chemists in Maharashtra have called off their proposed agitation against "corruption-related harassment" by the FDA officials following Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's assurance to resolve their grievances.

"We have decided to call-off our agitation of work-to-rule and keeping chemists stores open only from 2 pm to 10 pm from Wednesday, following Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's assurance to resolve our grievances," J S Shinde, President of Maharashtra State Chemists and Druggist Association (MSCDA) said.

The chief minister, who met the association members here today, will set up a committee, which will include two state ministers namely Manohar Naik and Satej Patil and members from the association, Shinde said.

The committee would also look into the problem of cross prescriptions, where homoeopaths and ayurveda practitioners prescribe allopathic medicines.

Besides, complaints by chemists on "corruption-related harassment" by the regulatory authority would also be looked into, he said.

Food and Drug Administration officials were not available for comment.

The chemists had earlier threatened to return their drug licences on July 15 due to continued 'harassment' by the FDA officials, who had registered FIRs against 23 chemists for different violations like not appointing a pharmacist in the chemist shop.

Chemists shave their heads to protest FDA rules

Nearly 325 chemists from the Sangli district shaved their heads to protest the stringent implementation of rules by the FDA.

The chemists in Sangli yesterday got their heads tonsured and the protest will continue with more chemists to follow the same, Maharashtra Chemists and Druggists Association president (west zone) Madan Patil said in Sangli.

The chemists have decided to open their stores only eight hours a day from tomorrow as their dispute with the FDA continues with no solution in sight.

The chemists have been protesting the stringent implementation of rules by the FDA, including the presence of a qualified pharmacist at all times in the medical shops.

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