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News : FDA Issues Helpline Numbers as Chemists Gear Up for Strike
Pune, India, Oct 13, 2015 -- The food and drug administration has announced helpline numbers to ensure easy access to medicines against the backdrop of chemists' proposed daylong nationwide strike on Wednesday.
The strike, called by All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) which has around 7,00,000 members across the country, will be observed to protest against online pharmacies. The FDA has also requested citizens to keep astock of essential medicines, as well as drugs prescribed to them by doctors, during the strike period to avoid inconvenience.
"We have also asked doctors to keep essential medicines with them during this period. Besides, we have asked medicine shops attached to private and public hospitals to keep adequate stock. We have set up a control room at our office to mitigate the shortage of medicines," said Vidyadhar Jawadekar, acting joint commissioner of FDA, Pune division.
Jawadekar said citizens can contact FDA officials if they find it difficult to get medicines during the aforementioned period. "Our officials will help citizens access medicines from the nearest location. Most medical shops attached to hospitals will remain open," he said.
The FDA has also informed municipal corporation's health authorities and district health officials to keep an adequate stock at their own hospitals and dispensaries in rural areas.
"We have decided to go for nationwide strike of chemists to protect health of general public as well as interest of our members," AIOCD president J S Shinde said.
Online pharmacies in India have increased significantly over the years. An online pharmacy is an internet-based vendor of prescription drugs and is flourishing be cause of the absence of regulation.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, October 15, 2015