Begin typing your search...

Medical bills go up as pharmacies stop discounts

Those buying their regular dose of medicines are feeling the pinch as the pharmacies have either cut the discounts or have withdrawn it completely citing shortage in supply in the wake of the lockdown.

Medical bills go up as pharmacies stop discounts


Driven by increased competition from pharmacy chains and online stores, retail chemists and druggists were luring customers with a variety of offers. With pharmacy chains opening shops in every nook and corner of the city, offering discounts up to 20 per cent, the retail chemists and druggists tried to retain their customers with similar offers. Now pharmacy chains have brought down discounts to 5-10 per cent, while most of the retails shops have stopped discounts all together.

K Govindan, a retired government employee at Villivakkam, used to buy medicines for Rs 4,000 for his wife and himself, both diabetic, at 15 per cent discount, from a retail shop till last month. “This time I had to pay Rs 4,800 as the shop owner refused to give any discount,” said Govindan lamenting that the family is already paying more on other essential commodities.

A retail chemist and druggist at Anna Nagar said he was forced to withdraw the discount after the distributors reduced the margin.

“Earlier, I used to provide flat 10 per cent discount on all drugs including those with smaller margins. I can’t afford it now unless the situation turns normal,” he said.

K Manoharan, president of the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association blamed the corporate drug chains for sudden revision in prices. “These corporate chains offered huge discounts to lure the customers. Now they suddenly reduce it even while pushing own brand of medicines.” He also claimed that members of his association might have stopped discounts due to the short supply.

“We have coordinated with the State government to ensure enough supply to shops across the State,” he said, noting the big concern was the shortage of staff at the shops.

“The short supply of the medicine was due to the shortage of manpower to load and unload medicines and restrictions in movement of vehicles,” he said.

Visit to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Next Story