Bandh to protest e-pharmacies partially successful

Bandh to protest e-pharmacies partially successful

A medical store downed its shutter as chemists staged a protest against the Centre for registering e-pharmacies in the city on Friday. DH Photo/SK Dinesh

Most chemist stores in Yeshwanthpur, Peenya Dasarahalli, Vidyaranyapura, Yelahanka Satellite Town and Konankunte remained closed on Thursday to mark their protest against the Centre for registering e-pharmacies.

Raghunath Reddy, president of Karnataka Chemist and Druggist Association, said the bandh has been successful all over the state despite a few outlets remaining open.
“We cannot forcefully ask the chemists to shut shop. Their support has to be voluntary. Since the other associations have not supported the bandh, outlets in Rajajinagar and Vijaynagar remained open,” he said.

Reddy said since they are affiliated with the all India organisation, their representatives in Delhi would hold talks with the ministry officials.

There was some confusion over the bandh amongst the chemists leading to many outlets, which were closed during the morning hours, to open after 11 am, said Ravindra Kumar, secretary of Bangalore City Druggists and Chemists Association.

“Though some of the private medical shops like Apollo Pharma and Frontline did support us, others like MedPlus and a few other outlets remained open. This caused a huge concern for those who supported the bandh since they did not want to lose out on the customers. Hence we were compelled to open the shutters,” Kumar added.

A spokesperson from Maruthi Medical in Vijayanagar said that they remained open since MedPlus was serving customers on the same street.

“Though we support the cause and are against the Centre's decision, there has been confusion due to the lack of coordination and unity among the chemists," added the spokesperson.