More than 14,000 chemists and druggists in the state of Gujarat joined a one-day strike on May 9, 2013. The strike was called by All India Chemists and Druggists Association in order to protest the new drug policy laid down by the government.
Jashvant Patel, president of the Federation of Gujarat State Chemists and Druggists Association said, “Nearly 14,000 medical stores remained closed today and joined the one-day strike call given by our national association in protest of draconian provisions in the new drug policy of the Centre”. Patel added that they are objecting to provisions made in Drug and Cosmetics Act, 2008 which states that strict action will be taken against those chemists and druggists who may be found selling spurious drugs.
He also added that retailers of drugs are opposing this as they are only sellers, not manufacturers and the government is treating them like terrorists. Patel further explained that they want to keep the humanitarian aspect alive to their business and therefore kept one medical shop in each city open in case of emergency needs of the patients.
The Association is also opposing the Foreign Direct Investment in retail and Supreme Court guideline, asking druggists and chemists to reduce their profit margin from 20 percent to 16 percent.