Drug retailers worried by growth of epharmaciesDrug retailers worried by growth of

first_imgpharmaceutical retailing RELATED LEAD STORYE-store concept gives retail pharma the shivers SHARE August 22, 2018 COMMENTS Published oncenter_img Tech, financial stocks lift Wall Street Drug retailers have once again raised objection to the rampant proliferation of online pharmacies and demanded legal measures to curb the ‘unchecked growth’ of e-pharmacies, which has hurt the business from stores by about 10 per cent in revenues in last one year.Through the proposed rules allow online sale of medicines only through licenced and registered e-pharmacies, heavy discounts on medicines being offered by the overseas-funded e-pharmacies is seen creating an unfair competition for store-owners. “The government has fixed a trade margin of 16 per cent for chemists whereas it allows relaxation for FDI from players such as Walmart, Amazon, 1mg, Pharmaeasy among others. With deep financial pockets, these players can afford to offer heavy discounts and take away the customers of chemists. Unchecked proliferation of these giants threatens survival of 8.5 lakh chemists across India including 26,000 in Gujarat,” said Aplesh Patel, President of the Federation of Gujarat State Chemists & Drugists Association – an affiliate to All India Organisation of Chemists & Drugists.ShutdownThe pharmacists in Ahmedabad have called a partial shutdown on Friday, August 24 till 4 pm as a mark of protest against the onslaught of online players besides pending demand on GST refund for expired/leakage drugs. As per the current GST rules, the goods return claims are to be made within 180 days, whereas in the case of medicines the average period of expiry is about three years. Hence, according to chemists, the provisions of CGST Act under section 34(2) is not sufficient for pharma trade. Also, as per different Acts for pharma retailing, it is mandatory to reverse logistics of drugs and formulations in the event of expiry, damage or leak or spurious quality.Small chemistsMoreover, under the Drug & Cosmetics Act & Rules, a dealer can’t issue sales invoice in respect of time expired medicines. “It is, therefore, necessary to make special provisions for reversal of purchases and tax credits beyond the period mentioned in the existing CGST Act,” said Patel. “This is putting unnecessary financial burden on the small chemists. Our demand to the Government is that the expiry return or near expiry goods should be treated as a return of goods and not as supply, hence, it be allowed to be returned without GST,” he added.Several representations have been made in this regard before the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) – Gujarat as well as State Commercial Tax Department.Also, Patel informed that the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) is planning for a nationwide strike next month over the same issues. e-commerce and e-business SHARE SHARE EMAIL Seek Government intervention to control discounts by online players COMMENTlast_img

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