There have been several complaints from customers about chemists forcing the former to buy the entire strip of tablets or capsules of medicines at shops, due to which the central government is making efforts to find effective solutions to protect the interest of consumers. The government is in talks with the pharmaceutical industry to find solutions to these problems, news agency PTI reports.
Several customers are facing an unnecessary financial burden because of being forced to be the entire strip of medicines. Moreover, this leads to medical wastage because a patient often does not require all the medicines in the strip, and has only been prescribed a dose for a few days.
Citing sources, a PTI report said the Department of Consumer Affairs has held the first round of consultations with senior representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. Senior officials working under the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) were also present at the meeting.
The report also said, citing sources, that the Department of Consumer Affairs suggested the representatives explore new packaging technologies for medicines, such as perforation technology to cut the strip, because this technique makes it easier to cut and bend materials. Another recommendation was to print the manufacturing and expiry date on each strip, and use a QR code.
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Several consumers have sent complaints to the Department of Consumer Affairs about being forced by chemists to buy the entire strip of ten tablets or capsules. When customers reject chemists’ insistence, the latter refuse selling less than ten tablets or capsules of a particular medicine.
In many cases, patients are prescribed medicines only for a day or two. Despite this, they are forced to buy the entire strip. There are some cases in which patients cannot afford to buy medicines for the entire week, because of which they buy in small quantities. However, chemists not agreeing to sell them less than ten tablets or capsules creates problems for these patients.
The report said that some chemists told the news agency that they have no problem in cutting the strip and selling the required amount of medicine to customers. They said that they insist customers to buy an entire strip of medicines only in the case of slow moving medicines and drugs, because otherwise, distributors and pharmaceutical companies refuse to take back unsold medicines if the strips have been cut.
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