Battle for Pharmacy Autonomy: AIOCD President Vigorously Opposes National Pharmacy Commission Proposal

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In a significant development, Jagannath Shinde, President of The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), has emphatically declared the organization’s staunch resistance against the establishment of the proposed National Pharmacy Commission. The move comes in the wake of plans to repeal the Pharmacy Act and replace the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). Shinde, a seasoned pharmacy professional, asserts that AIOCD is prepared to fiercely combat any attempt to transfer control of the pharmacy profession from pharmacists to bureaucrats.


Shinde, speaking from his position as a pharmacist and a member of the national pharmacy council, highlighted AIOCD’s extensive influence, with 10 state pharmacy councils now under its control. The organization plays a pivotal role in shaping the direction of these councils, asserting its influence in both state and national affairs related to pharmacy.

In an exclusive conversation, following his sixth consecutive election as the President of AIOCD, Shinde disclosed the organization’s plans to submit a memorandum to the government. This document, strongly urges against the adoption of the National Pharmacy Commission proposal. The essence of the memorandum emphasizes the need to retain the PCI as it stands, contending that replacing it with a Commission would pave the way for non-pharmacy professionals and bureaucrats to dominate the regulatory landscape.

The submission of the memorandum is scheduled for November 20, with the Union health minister and the prime minister being the intended recipients. Shinde forewarns that if the government fails to address their concerns, AIOCD is prepared to stage agitations nationwide, with a focus on safeguarding the livelihoods of the 15 lakh chemists and their families.

Shinde outlined the planned sequence of agitations, starting at the Taluk level and escalating to district and state levels. The apex of these protests will be a rally at Jantar Mandir in New Delhi, culminating in a mass agitation. The objective is clear: to stand up against any attempt to undermine the autonomy of the PCI and, by extension, the pharmacy profession.

When questioned about AIOCD’s role in PCI affairs, Shinde emphasized the moral and legitimate duty of the association to protect the interests of the pharmacy profession. With PCI being a statutory body comprised of pharmacy professionals, Shinde asserts that AIOCD will not tolerate any form of dictatorship in the administration of the PCI, firmly resisting the government’s alleged attempts at monopolizing the pharmacy council.

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