More than 6,800 chemist shops across Delhi and its adjoining areas were shut on Wednesday following the nationwide strike by the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) to protest against the online sale of drugs.
"Our strike has been successful. Over 90 percent of the chemist shops across the country are shut today and the only reason we allowed 10 percent of them to remain open was to avoid any difficulty to the patients. In Delhi too, over 6,800 chemist shops remained shut," J.S. Sinde, president, AIOCD, told IANS.
According to the association, Delhi has around 7,000 chemist shops.
The association has also warned of an indefinite strike if the government failed to address the issue within a week.
He said the association tried to talk to the health ministry over the illegitimate sale of medicines by e-pharmacy companies, which was also hindering the pharmacy outlets.
"Through our demands we also want to prevent the sale of duplicate medicines being sold by the e-pharmacy companies, which the consumers are not going to understand," Sinde said.
Kulpreet Kaur, co-founder, Shop Pirate, a brand also involved in the sale of medicines online, said: "There is no harm in technology acting as an enabler in offering convenience to customers."
"We need to bring in comprehensive laws and process to avoid any social issue. E-commerce has always played a role of giving opportunities to everyone in the ecosystem."