Hyderabad July 05 : Implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has cast its shadow on the pharmacy industry with acute shortage of various drugs including life-saving ones in various parts of undivided Karimnagar district.Ever since the Government announced the implementation of GST, the wholesalers and retailers started refusing to stock the medicines sensing possible mismatch between tax payouts and tax refunds with the GST and majority of them even returned the stocks in June.
Now with the GST in force and steep hike on all drugs, except for the diabetes, the pharmaceutical companies started procuring fresh stocks with new price tags.The companies were also working out modalities about the commission payout to wholesalers and retailers and intimating new rates of drugs after the GST levy, which is ranging between 12% and 28%, the traders said.Retailer A. Srinivas of J.K. Medical Stores in the town said that there were no stocks following the implementation of the GST and the pharmaceutical companies were despatching new products with new rates. If I go with a list of medicines of 50 varieties, I am getting only of 10 varieties as there is acute shortage of medicines, he added.
Another retail medical shop owner Srihari said that the wholesalers were not supplying the medicines to them stating that they do not have the GST certificate. But, the Union Government had clearly stated that the GST certification would not apply for the traders doing business below ? 20 lakh per annum, he said and urged the authorities concerned to ensure that the stocks were supplied to the retailers. This will benefit the customers and put to trouble due to non-availability of medicines, he opined.
The shortage of drugs had also affected the functioning of hospitals in the town.A doctor said that the emergency injections were not available in large quantities. “We are forced to compromise with available injections instead of branded ones”, he stated.