Nashik Chemists’ Association (NCA) goes on a 3-day-strike from today (16/12/2013) to protest against the Food and Drug Association’s (FDA) improper action against chemists. As per the information outsourced FDA had already warned the chemists not to perform such strikes under Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act 2011 (MESMA).
The strike has already been started from today and the FDA has sent letters to district collector Vilas Patil and Nashik Police Commissioner Kulwant Kumar Sarangal, to take action against the chemists, but Nashik Chemists’ Association said it will resort to ‘jail bharo’ activism in the district if its office-bearers are arrested under MESMA.
The Joint Commissioner of FDA stated, “We have already appealed to chemists’ associations not to resort to a strike, since medicines come under essential commodities. Around 1,047 chemists in the Nashik division have assured us that they will not participate in the strike and keep their shops open in the interest of patients.”
With this behavior of FDA officials, the NCA secretory, Yogesh Kadam, on behalf of all members stated, “The FDA has been wrongly interpreting laws and taking illegal action against chemists across the state. On the other hand, the role of the FDA is ambiguous against cross-practicing doctors and physicians and hospitals that stock up medicines. They are spared from inspections and only chemist shops are being targeted. The FDA has made doctors’ prescriptions mandatory for the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines at chemist shops. It has also threatened to cancel licenses of chemists if OTC medicines are sold to customers without prescriptions. Hence, we have decided to go on a 3-day-strike from Monday. Around 4,500 chemists across the district will participate in the strike.”
The NCA members have also launched a helpline number for needy patients, for a safe and secured health. The number is 0253-2317187. We hope this strike ends immediately and the chemist shops open at the earliest.