Chemist shops closed in response to protest call

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AmritsarPosted at: May 31, 2017, 1:06 AM; last updated: May 31, 2017, 1:06 AM (IST)Stir against govt for allowing sale of medicines by e-pharmacies


Members of the Amritsar Chemists Association protest against the government at Bhandari Bridge in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 30


Chemist shops in the city remained closed today on account of a protest call given by the All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists.
The chemist shops in the entire city remained closed till the time of filling this report, which also caused hardship to the patients and their attendants. However, the stores run by a few private hospitals inside their premises and the pharmacies run by the government continued to dispense medicines.
The chemists who are up in arms against the government mainly for allowing sale of medicines through e-pharmacies also staged a protest at Bhandari Bridge.
Members of various associations also submitted memorandums with the district administration and health officials.
Besides objections to the sale of medicines by e-pharmacies and demand for considerations of chemist bodies before amendments to the Central Drug Act, the local chemists are also demanding that intervention by the police in checking of drug stores should be stopped.
The association representatives stated that checking by the police of drug stores results in harassment of chemists, as the drug control wing of the Health Department is already in place to ensure the implementation of regulations.
The Punjab Chemist Association’s honorary general secretary Surinder Duggal said, “The chemists are facing a number of problems in their day-to-day working. We want that chemists should be heard before making any law pertaining to drug sale.”
He said the association had for long been making representations before the Centre and state government representatives.
Meanwhile, as the chemist shops in the wholesale market at Katra Sher Singh Market and the retail markets near Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, the Civil hospital and in many other parts of the city were closed, the patients and their attendants could not get medicines.
However, a few of the chemists had already started sending messages to their registered customers to buy medicines prior to the strike.
The chemists claimed that the many such customers were aware of the protest call and had already replenished their stocks.
Govt pharmacies dispense medicines

  • The stores run by a few private hospitals inside their premises and the pharmacies run by the government continued to dispense medicines. 
  • Besides objections to the sale of medicines by e-pharmacies and a demand to consider what chemist bodies want before amendments to the Central Drug Act, the local chemists are also demanding that intervention by the police in checking of drug stores should be stopped. 

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