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Old 8th June 2010, 19:26   #1
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Default Branded Medical Stores Cheating Customers

Hi Frens,

In past couple of months whenever I go to buy a medicine from a branded chemist shop (like apollo, religare, neelkanth) these people do not sell it lose. The incident below will summarize what I mean

I went to a medicine to a shop named "Neelkanth Chemists" , they have chain of shops in Delhi, not sure about other locations. 2 medicines on the prescriptions was prescribed as once a day for 5 days so he was supposed to give me 5 each for 5 days. However to my surprise he said that you will have to buy a complete strip of 10 Tablets. I asked Why ? the guy replied "Sir, it is a slow moving stock and we do not sell it lose." I said this is not my problem, what am I gonna do with extra 5 of those , he said "This is not my problem". I was shocked on his reply, I had a heated argument with him explaining him his social responsibility of being a chemist (I know he does not even understand what does that mean.) but all efforts went in vain. Finally, I did not buy anything from his shop and went to a local medicine shop for buying it.

I belive that what ever he did was wrong, If their stock is slow moving then why should I suffer. I would like to know did anyone else on this forum faced the similar issue. I would also like to know what can we do to stop it and where can we report such issues.
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Old 8th June 2010, 20:34   #2
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Is it even legal to sell loose medicine?
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Old 8th June 2010, 20:49   #3
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Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
Is it even legal to sell loose medicine?
I guess in SinghBHP's case it was a prescription drug so it is illegal on part of the Chemist to sell more drugs than that prescribed by the doctor.
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Old 8th June 2010, 20:57   #4
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It is legal - there is no law, only a guideline. IIRC, the FDA has a guideline where the manufacturer has to ensure that the expiry, price etc has to be printed on multiple spots of a 10-tablet strip, which indicates that cutting a strip is allowed.

Most pharmacists rarely cut a strip of a rare medication - apparently they cannot return a cut strip after expiry, which results in loss. However they readily give even a single tablet of commonly used medicine.

Autonorm has a good point - it may be illegal to give more than prescribed dose of medicine.
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Old 8th June 2010, 21:19   #5
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There is no way this is cheating. If the shop cuts & gives you half the strip, it's courtesy. I don't believe they have to do it.
I can't go to a restaurant & insist that they take back one of the 2 idlis which comes in a plate of idli because I feel like eating only one.

Lot of non-chain med shops also don't give half strips for medicines which aren't fast moving. You can always get 1/2 of strip of crocin or coldarin or whatever - but more difficult to get half strips of antibiotics etc. I ask the chemist for half strips, if he gives well & good. If he doesn't, then that's that/

Last edited by carboy : 8th June 2010 at 21:30.
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Old 8th June 2010, 22:12   #6
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Idlis and prescription medicine are not comparable items. So do I get more than prescribed sedative/habit forming drugs also just because the pharmacist refuses to cut the strip?
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Old 8th June 2010, 22:26   #7
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As far as i know, no chemist can deny prescribed medicine if he has stock or insist to buy more other than prescribed by doctor.

The medicine is controlled commodity and govt of India controls the price.

My father runs medical shop since last 40 years and he gives even single tab/capsule.
sometimes, needy may not have enough money to buy entire prescribed medicine and patient should not suffer due to money.

@singbhp,
you can report this incident to authorities[ food and drug commissioner] or collector. govt will definitely take action against such type of malpractice.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 8th June 2010 at 22:29.
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Old 8th June 2010, 23:39   #8
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Quote:
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Autonorm has a good point - it may be illegal to give more than prescribed dose of medicine.
Makes sense when you see it from that perspective. Thanks for answering my question.
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Old 9th June 2010, 18:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
There is no way this is cheating. If the shop cuts & gives you half the strip, it's courtesy. I don't believe they have to do it.
I can't go to a restaurant & insist that they take back one of the 2 idlis which comes in a plate of idli because I feel like eating only one.
I would completely disagree with you on this point, First of all we cannot evetn compare Idlis and medicines. Secondly - Even if you are comparing then all restaurants have a menu for what and how much they sell. So this means that Chemists should also start printing a menu of medicines which they sell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
As far as i know, no chemist can deny prescribed medicine if he has stock or insist to buy more other than prescribed by doctor.

The medicine is controlled commodity and govt of India controls the price.

My father runs medical shop since last 40 years and he gives even single tab/capsule.
sometimes, needy may not have enough money to buy entire prescribed medicine and patient should not suffer due to money.

@singbhp,
you can report this incident to authorities[ food and drug commissioner] or collector. govt will definitely take action against such type of malpractice.

Thanks a lot for you reply Ashish, I will surely try to find out a way to report this in Delhi. If by any chance you are aware of the process then do post it, thanks again in advance.
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Old 9th June 2010, 18:29   #10
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Take case where people who are addicts go for buying sedatives or tranqulizers , a Chemist like "Neelkanth" would be more that happy to sell him any number of strips he asks for.
And what about those people who hardly have money for paying a Doctor's consultation fees, can they afford such expensive drugs that too a complete strip. Even if you buy it what will you do with it, it's so harmful to keep such drugs at home.

I think we should boycott such shops and try to report this to authorities ASAP.
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Old 9th June 2010, 21:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghBHP View Post
I would completely disagree with you on this point, First of all we cannot evetn compare Idlis and medicines. Secondly - Even if you are comparing then all restaurants have a menu for what and how much they sell. So this means that Chemists should also start printing a menu of medicines which they sell.
So what you are saying if everytime someone doesn't want to sell something loose, they should be printing a menu!
Tommorow, someone may go to the grocery store & ask for 2 slices of bread, just because the grocery store doesn't have a printed menu.

Anyway, what if the doctor prescribes a liquid medicine in a bottle & says 1 teaspoon for 3 days? What then?



Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghBHP View Post
Thanks a lot for you reply Ashish, I will surely try to find out a way to report this in Delhi. If by any chance you are aware of the process then do post it, thanks again in advance.
I am not 100% sure, but I think that the rule that you have to sell cut-strips is not in all states - it's specific to FDA-Maharashtra. And even in Maharashtra, the chemists lobby is trying to get that repealed.
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Old 9th June 2010, 21:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
Lot of non-chain med shops also don't give half strips for medicines which aren't fast moving. You can always get 1/2 of strip of crocin or coldarin or whatever - but more difficult to get half strips of antibiotics etc. I ask the chemist for half strips, if he gives well & good. If he doesn't, then that's that/
In my city no medical shop, big or small, has ever forced us to buy more than what is prescribed by the doctor, no matter how slow moving the drug is.

It is not easy for everyone when more than required no of medicine is forced upon, especially in cases when one single tab/capsule can cost 50 Rupees or more.
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Old 9th June 2010, 23:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
So what you are saying if everytime someone doesn't want to sell something loose, they should be printing a menu!
Tommorow, someone may go to the grocery store & ask for 2 slices of bread, just because the grocery store doesn't have a printed menu.

Anyway, what if the doctor prescribes a liquid medicine in a bottle & says 1 teaspoon for 3 days? What then?
Dude, sorry to say but you are not making any sense at all as you are debating on some entirely different logistics. Think like this, nobody will ask a chemist to strip open one single tablet and tell him to give only half. And this is the scenario that'll match with all these idli-dosa-bread-liquid medicine examples that you are giving. The case of giving 5 tablets INSIDE a strip will match to case of buying 12 eggs out of a crate.
If you cut half of one strip of medicine then the rest five doesn't get spoiled cause they are still inside the strip without any air contact. Now if you open your bread packet and get two slices or open a liquid medicine bottle then rest of the quantity will get in touch with open air. I hope now the difference is clear.
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Old 10th June 2010, 20:17   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
So what you are saying if everytime someone doesn't want to sell something loose, they should be printing a menu!
Tommorow, someone may go to the grocery store & ask for 2 slices of bread, just because the grocery store doesn't have a printed menu.

Anyway, what if the doctor prescribes a liquid medicine in a bottle & says 1 teaspoon for 3 days? What then?
Man you are comparing completely different products, there is a great differencs between a Bread and Medicine. FYI - go to rural areas , villages you will even find grocery shops selling lose bread slices, Rusks, biscuits etc.

Guys , I have filed a complaint to Drug Controller, Delhi Govts. website has a link for it. Let's see if they take any action.
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Old 10th June 2010, 23:59   #15
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AFAIK, those drugs that comes in fancy packing, a blister leaf inside a cardboard carton are not sold loose. As told to be my a friend who owns a medical store.
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