Over eight lakh chemists across the country will participate in a nationwide strike against e-pharmacies and the Government’s e-portal initiative to regulate the sale of medicines in the country. While the medical stores will remain shut for a day, emergency pharmacies in and around hospitals will remain open.

The strike has been called by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) after the Centre did not respond to the issues raised by chemists over the online sale of medicine, the government’s e-portal plan and the quality of the DPharma course, which will now be considered a must for wholesale chemists to get a license and the renewal of licences, reports The Indian Express.

According to the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), their several representations opposing the regulations on the sale of medicines in the country, submitted to the government, went unheeded, following which the one-day strike was called.

“We have been asked to upload all information related to sale of medicines on a portal, which is not possible with the existing infrastructure,” said a senior member of AIOCD.

Following the government’s notice in April on e-portal, the union submitted point-wise demanding the government to ease the norms set for sale and storage of medicines, along with the relaxation of cap imposed on their profit margins.

The chemists are also opposing online pharmacy, which they say, poses a threat to their business.

“The online pharmacy will also encourage irrational usage of medicines and sale of fake drugs,” the AIOCD member said.

The chemist body is also likely to hold a demonstration at Jantar Mantar tomorrow to highlight their concerns.