No discount on medicines except at govt hospitals in Chandigarh after GST rollout

Chemists in govt hospitals will have to offer discount as per the tender

punjab Updated: Jul 02, 2017 14:23 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
GST,Goods and Services Tax,Medicines
A notice on discontinuation of discounts at a medical store in Chandigarh.(HT Photo)

With the GST coming into force on Saturday, chemists across the city have chosen not to offer any discount on medicines.

Earlier, chemist shops used to offer up to 10% discount on various drugs.

To add to the patients’ woes, there is a possibility of shortage of medicines.

“Due to GST, the tax on medicines has been increased from 5% to 12% and 18%. So please do not ask for any discount. No discount will be given on any medicine or cosmetics,” reads a notice displayed at one of the shops in Chandigarh.

While essential drugs, like those used for malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and diabetes, fall in the 5% bracket, majority of the other drugs are in the 12% bracket.

“We cannot offer any discount as the taxes have been increased manifold,” said Vijayanand, president, Chandigarh Chemists Association.

“Further, with the GST implementation chemists will not get any bulk benefits from manufactures. For instance, earlier if we bought 100 medicines, we for around 10 free. But that’s not the case now,” he said.

However, shops located inside government hospitals will have to offer discount, as they have got tender on the basis of that condition.

Shortage expected

Also most chemists did not keep stock as they were not GST-ready.

“There is no reserve stock. These days we are doing barter system, which means chemist in a locality are helping each other out on running out of stock,” said Vijayanand.

He said that there is a shortage of some drugs and it will continue for at least 10 days. These include anti-cancer injections like NU FORSE, Palzem and Holoxan and human serum injection called Plasmarab used in dog bite cases.

First Published: Jul 02, 2017 14:22 IST