Pharmacists’ strike

All the pharmaceutical companies and drugstores in Punjab have joined hands against the Punjab government’s amendments in the Drug Act. They have demanded rescission of amendments and threatened to go on indefinite strike and close down all business outlets if their demands are not met.
I don’t think it is a wise decision to put the life of thousands of patients at risk. It must be noted that the government changed the laws to deter the sale of fake and substandard medicines. Instead of cooperating with the government the druggists have chosen to go on strike to penalize the patients.
According to the change the chemist will be arrested without possibility of bail for six months. The Pharmaceutical companies claim that they take off the expired medicines from the shelves before their expiry date which is not true. Many people died due to spurious and fake drugs sold in the market. The Pharma companies alleged that the amendments have been made to facilitate the entry of other businesses to open new franchises.
Well in that case the druggists will be hurt. The government should act in a neutral manner to regulate the business. An enabling/favourable environment should be provided for competition. Pharma companies must refrain from negative propaganda and undoing the good legislation. It makes no business sense at all to close drug stores.
JAVAID BASHIR
Lahore

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