Cheaper Drugs Anyone?

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March 7th, 2010 Praveen Bose

Ever tried bargaining at a drug store while shopping for medicines? Well, actually ceteris paribus the chemist should be able to a discount to customers.

A new stand-alone drug store that has come up near my place, and not from any new-age drug store chain, has put up a board outside announcing a ‘Flat 10 per cent off’ on everything sold.

An older drug store barely 10 metres from it, which it is trying to compete with, has nothing to worry. At least the propreitor Rakesh says that everytme someone asks him. The best part, the new comer is operated and run by the licence holder himself who has a Dip. in Pharma.

Rakesh scoffs at the new comer as a man with a death wish. Not that Rakesh will use any muscle power. He will continue as he has done for the past 10 years. Yes, continue paying off the inspectors and other officials from the various departments — sales tax, drugs, police (yes, the police too, both the crime and traffic), corporation officials and some others.

“Let him give the discounts, and pay off those guys, and survive. Forget making a profit,” said Rakesh with a smile. Rakesh, a seasoned guy who has been in the job of selling drugs right from the age of 15, has seen the in and out of the drugs business.

Yes, I can give drugs for less than the MRP. But, how will I then be able to make up for the costs incurred on paying the bribes.The original licence holder is paid a fee every month by Rakesh for using it to run his store. The licence holder used to run the store before finding it easier to “renting out” his licence.
It’s been barely a fortnight. I am watching the competition with interest. An educated, qualified chemist vs. a hard-nosed barely educated drug store operator.

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One Response to “Cheaper Drugs Anyone?”

  1. Ritesh Says:

    That’s very true. In Gujarat too, which is otherwise a progressive and well administered state, the renting of degree/diploma in pharmacy is very rampant. In some case, the degree/diploma holder does not even reside in India but as and when they visit India, they collect their dues.


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