Joining nationwide strike called by All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) to protest against online sale of drugs, over 35,000 chemists and wholesalers in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana kept their shops closed on Wednesday.
Chandigarh Chemist Association president Vijay Anand said, the bandh is to support eight lakh chemists across the country.
The association said, allowing sale of medicines through internet would not only paralyse current distribution chain of eight lakh medicine dealers supplying drugs to 125 crore people but would also prove dangerous to their health.
Anand said, the government should crack down any kind of online sale of medicines as it would raise the risk of misuse of drugs.
Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, only registered pharmacists are permitted to sell drugs on producing a valid prescription.
He added that through internet, prescriptions can be easily fabricated and can be uploaded to different service providers and more medications can be procured than the prescribed quantities.
“AIOCD also opposes any move of the government to allow online sale of drugs,” he added.
Meanwhile, chemists took out protest marches at various places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
The chemists submitted memorandums to the civil and medical authorities for their onward submission to the district authorities.
Sporting banners against the online sale of medicines and demanding suitable amendments in relevant Acts to check it, the protesters marched through markets at different places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, police said.
They also raised slogans against the central government.
Anand claimed that the strike was “complete” and peaceful.