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The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has raised concern over “illegal and indiscriminate" discounts being offered by online pharmacies to customers. A delegation of AIOCD held a meeting with Dr V K Paul, Member, Niti Aayog, on Friday who is also heading the health vertical - an authority to frame policy Instrumental person in many health-related policies and planning - and expressed concern about the same.

The organisation said the discounts by online pharmacies big corporates violated Drug Acts, Pharmacy Act, and Medical practice ethics. The delegation urged actions against indiscriminate, illegal discounts being offered by corporate retail chains and online pharmacies.

The delegation led by AIOCD president JS Shinde while submitting a memorandum to Dr VK Paul complained that the discounts have “impacted small retailers, and wholesalers, across the country". AIOCD's general secretary Rajiv Singhal, organizational secretary Sandeep Nangia, and joint secretary Vaijanath Jagushte were also present.

The delegation said it has submitted a memorandum with proof including advertisements issued with discount offers.

"We submitted a detailed memorandum with proofs including advertisements issued in the public domain with discounts offers to the extent of the bellow purchase price as per company pricelist," an official statement from the AIOCD said.

As per the chemist's organisation, the discounts by big corporates are nothing but predatory prices and objectives to small pharmacies driving them out of the market to create a monopolistic situation, in the long run.

"It was brought to the notice of Dr Paul that the retailers, with the fixed margin by the government, get a 16 % margin on scheduled drugs and 20% margin on non-scheduled drugs. But e-pharmacies/corporate retail chains offer 30 to 40 percent discounts by advertising, disregarding provisions of Laws," the statement said while adding that AIOCD's memorandum highlights each and every provision of all Drug Laws, Pharmacy Act.

As per the AIOCD, there are around 12 lakh retains/wholesalers. "Dr Paul patiently heard and noted all issues that were raised by the AIOCD in the meeting and suggested submitting further specific information," the statement said.

Earlier, the AIOCD opposed the online sale of medicines.

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