Soon You Won't Have To Buy Full Medicine Strip for a Few Tablets: Report
Moneylife Digital Team 25 May 2023
The Union ministry of consumer affairs could soon issue an advisory to the pharmaceuticals sector that will stop chemists from compelling consumers to buy the full blister pack of medicine when a smaller quantity is needed, says a report.
Quoting an official from the department of consumer affairs who requested not to be named, a report from Economic Times (ET) says, "If someone needs just three tablets, why should they buy the entire strip."
The customer-patient needs to buy a full strip of medicines even if the doctor has prescribed a few tablets.  
Chemists told the newspaper that selling a few pills from a blister pack has its own problems, like the non-availability of batch number, manufacturing and expiration date for the remaining strip. 
"To fix this problem, the ministry has recommended modifying the packaging of medicines and having easy-to-remove sections in the blister packs marked with perforations, with each bearing the expiry date and other essential information," the report says.
Last week, during a meeting with representatives from the pharmaceuticals sector, the department of consumer affairs communicated it, the official told ET
The move follows the numerous complaints the department received from consumers about chemists insisting on selling an entire pack when a smaller quantity was needed or prescribed.
"While the cost of it may be high, but once all companies start doing it, it will come down," the official told the newspaper.
Speaking with ET, Jagannath Shinde, chairman of All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors (AIOCD), says 'cut-strips' are a problem for retailers as they mostly do not have a batch number, manufacturing and expiration date written on them. 
"It is an offence to stock medicine without these important details," Mr Shinde says. These cut strips have to be discarded as expired medicines go back to the wholesaler and then to the manufacturer for proper disposal.
"Cutting medicines packed in very small packs is also a problem as sometimes it leads to exposure of medicine," he added.
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