Pharma bodies oppose opening of big chain stores in J&K

Rakesh Gupta addressing a press conference at Srinagar on Wednesday.
Rakesh Gupta addressing a press conference at Srinagar on Wednesday.

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Dec 29: Alleging that multi-brand and big chain stores will have devastating effect on the livelihood of traders and their employees, Jammu Pharmaceutical Distributors Association and the Jammu Chemists Association have sought intervention of Prime Minister to keep a check on profit margins, especially on critical care drugs.
While addressing a joint press conference, here today, Rakesh Gupta, President of Jammu Pharmaceutical Distributors Association and Naveen Kumar Bali, President of Jammu Chemists Association, highlighted the challenges being faced by the traders across JK UT and the devastating results and gloomy future in store for traders after the opening of physical stores by the multi brand chains.
Rakesh Gupta charged National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority with trying to sweep under the carpet by saying that their mandate was just to seal the Maximum Retail Price only. He said that the larger mandate of the NPPA was to seal the MRP keeping in view the margins allowed under the Drug Price Control Order to the Wholesalers and the Retailers and not fixing MRP’s allowing margins from 100% to 500% thus not only looting the suffering patients across but also paving the way for entry of spurious drugs because of the different selling prices.
Rakesh Gupta appealed Prime Minister to immediately and urgently pass on directions to the concerned Ministry to fix the MRPs only allowing the legally allowed profit margins especially for critical care drugs and also appealed to the Competition Commission of India to enforce fair practices in this regard.
He further appealed to the PM to restrict the opening of Multi Brand and Big Chain Stores only to the Metro Cities or in cities having huge population. He cautioned that if the GOI and the State heads do not decide on this now , it will result in huge losses to approximately 8 crore traders who shall not be able to compete and ultimately collapse .
Rakesh Gupta cautioned the Pharma manufacturers in particular to choose their partners who have been working with them since decades and decide on business ethics otherwise it would be catastrophic not only for their business partners but ultimately for them too.
Naveen Kumar Bali alleged that such big chains are offering a honey bait to the chemists with lucrative offers but appealed to the Chemists fraternity to be wise and not deal with them.
Rajan Gupta, general secretary of the Jammu Pharmaceutical Distributors Association was also present on the occasion.