The lockdown in India will soon hit medicine supplies in the country, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists have said.

Jagannath Shinde, president of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) said he has approached the Prime Minister to ensure smooth functioning and that they don’t run out of stocks. “I had a video-conference with the Prime Minister and shared with him the problems chemists and suppliers are facing all over the country,” Shinde told ET.

Kailash Gupta, President All India Chemists and Druggists Federation said that the transportation challenges are resulting in supply chain disruption. “The distributors are facing it difficult to get supplies from warehouses due to the lockdown and supply it to the chemists,” he said. The warehouses stock medicines and are located all across the country in the outskirts of cities.

Sandeep Nangia, President, Delhi Chemists Association blamed the police for not letting distributors and suppliers’ function smoothly irrespective of them carrying IDs. “The police are taking unnecessary action on the medicos without even checking their IDs. We are all providing essential services but in the wake of police’ action on our delivery boys and those working in stores, I am sure India is heading towards a major supply disruption,” he said.

Other than the Prime Minister, the chemists’ association has also reached out to the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) and even the state chief ministers, citing the issues that they are facing. Shinde said that if their problems are not sorted, the retailers will run out of stock within next 4-5 days. “We are facing inter-state transport challenges. There is a lot of medicine stock that comes from Goa, Baddi and Sikkim. Due to the lockdown, it hs become difficult to reach to the retailers and if its not sorted the retailers will run out of supplies within next 4-5 days,” added Shinde.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) had earlier even written to the chief secretaries in states to facilitate smooth inter-state travel of workers and that pharma activities are treated as essential services. “You may also kindly direct the authorities concerned to make necessary arrangements for issuance of IDs, entry pass so as to facilitate movement of the workers engaged in these essential services,” read the letter.

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