Demonetisation has had another side effect – patients are stocking up medicines for the next two to three months. This is especially so for ailments where life-long mediations are required such as for diabetes or hypertension – called chronic therapy areas in medical lingo.
As a result, some of the pharmacies have seen sales pick up. “There have been days when sales have doubled than the usual in some of our stores,” says Dr Madhukar Gangadi, founder of the MedPlus chain of pharmacies. It has 1,400 stores mainly across nine states and he says, going by the current trends, overall, he says, the sales during November could be up by 10 to 15 per cent compared to previous month. “But then, it would also mean sales in the following months could see some decline. So, the net impact may not be negligible.” Whenever taking the old notes, the pharmacy chains like MedPlus are typically seeking customer ID such as the PAN card details in cases where the bill amounts are higher than say Rs 5,000.