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This article was first published 4 years ago  » Business » You may not get even cold meds without prescription

You may not get even cold meds without prescription

By Sohini Das
May 01, 2020 11:06 IST
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Although there is no government order to this effect, chemists decide to not dispense medicines for cold, cough and fever over the counter. 

Image used for representational purpose. Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters.

In the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, the chemists association has decided to not dispense medicines specific to cold, cough, and fever to anyone without a prescription. 

Several states have also approached the medical shops to keep a record of phone numbers and addresses of customers who buy such medicines for surveillance. 


“There has been no government notification in this regard. However, we feel that it is safe to not dispense medicines for cold, cough and fever over the counter now. We have asked the chemists affiliated with us to recommend the patient to visit a nearby hospital and get checked if she or he is showing such symptoms as it is only safe for him,” said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists, the umbrella association that represents around 850,0000 chemists across the country. 

If a patient looks for cough syrup, paracetamol, or a cold antibiotic, the chemist shop would practically not sell it and counsel him to visit a doctor at the earliest. 

Does this mean that one cannot buy paracetamol for body pain etc? Singhal says the chemists would tend to refuse a patient who is showing symptoms of cough and cold or is asking for a specific combination that is for cough, cold, and fever. 

“If someone is buying paracetamol as a painkiller, we would sell it. Chemists cannot do any surveillance on whether he is buying it for a fever patient. So that is kept out of the question. But, we are trying to be as safe as it can be,” Singhal said. 

Ankur Agarwal, founder and director of pharmacy chain Medkart that runs stores across Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, said they were asking patients with requirement of cold, cough and fever medicines to visit public hospitals. 

Some chemists, however, said it was not possible at the moment to get valid prescriptions as most out-patient departments (OPD) were closed. “We are being a bit lenient, especially with chronic patients who have prescriptions that are more than six months old now,” said a Mumbai-based chemist.

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Sohini Das in Mumbai
Source: source

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