They are protesting the stringent rules on the sale of medicines. However, emergency service pharmacies in and around hospitals will remain open, Sandeep Nangia, president, Retail Distributors Chemists Association said.
The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), representing around nine lakh chemists, said it has made several representations to the government against the recent changes in regulations as well as unviability of their businesses.
They allege that there has been no response which has forced them to strike on May 30. "We have made many representations to the government but found no positive response to our concerns. The government wants us to feed all information related to sale of medicines on a portal. With the current infrastructure, it is not possible for us. On the other hand, with new regulations our margins are under pressure," the organisation says.
The chemists have also said that they oppose online pharmacy. They say it is a dangerous scenario and can lead to counterfeiting and irrational usage of medicines which could lead to drug reactions. Further they have also cited the threat to their own business due to online pharmacy.