Bhubaneswar, 29th May 2017 (By Prasant Kumar Bhuyan) May 29: Medicine stores will remain closed for 24 hours starting midnight today following a strike called by All India Organization of Chemist and Druggist across the country. The strike has been called protesting the online sale of medicines and e-portals set up for medicines by the Central government. Odisha has over 17,000 medicine stores. Shutting them for 24 hours will affect the live saving drugs in readiness to meet the demand,” Health and Family Welfare secretary P K Meherda told reporters. In the state, Utkal Chemist and Druggist Association (UCDA) will be observing the strike medicine shops across the State set to remain closed for next 24 hours starting Monday midnight, the State Government today claimed that all possible measures have been put in place to ensure that life saving drugs are stocked adequately at the State-run hospitals. Public health services in a major way. Around 2,000 medicine stores in Cuttack will remain open despite the strike in rest of the state. Odisha government today issued direction to authorities of medical college hospitals, state run hospitals and others to remain in readiness to meet the eventualities. “We have issued direction to authorities of medical colleges and hospitals to keep essential medicines including Health and Family Welfare Secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda told reporters that clear cut guidelines have been issued to all the CDMOs for free distribution of drugs under the Niramaya schemes.“We are ready to tackle the situation. I don’t think there will be much inconvenience due to this bandh. chemists in Cuttack have opted out from taking part in the strike. Medicine stores across Odisha will remain closed for 24 hours tomorrow solidarity with the All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists (AIOCD), the Utkal Chemist and Druggist Association (UCDA) has decided to join the proposed nation-wide association contended that the life threat facing patients would face danger in case technical snags developed in e-portal and it was not possible to sell medicine during emergency times strike against the proposal by the Union Health Ministry to regulate sale of drugs through e-portal and implementation of online pharmacy. As part of the strike all the medicine stores across the State will down their shutters for the day UCDA has issued helpline number, 9437045007, 9438625600 and 9437031643 to help the distress during the strike. Directed authorities of government hospitals to be in readiness with medicine stock under the Niamey scheme, informed Health secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda. Association alleged that the Union Health Ministry’s new rule of uploading doctors’ prescription and the bill of sale of medicines in the e-portal would certainly trouble the people. Besides, there will be problem in availability of medicines.