Save people from spurious drugs

MEDICAL stores and pharmacies throughout Punjab have called off their strike following talks with provincial government authorities. A five-member committee has been constituted to review amendments in the Punjab Drugs Act and amicably redress grievances of the protestors.
The understanding between the two sides is welcome, as it would ensure regular provision and supply of medicines to people and especially to patients who were facing difficulties because of the strike. No details are available as to what extent the government has acceded to demand of chemists who have been adamant not to call off their strike short of withdrawal of the amendments. The provincial government has also been expressing its resolve not to bow before the blackmailing in the name of protest. It clarified that amendments in the Punjab Drugs Act 1976 are aimed at checking spurious and substandard medicines and ensure provision of quality health facilities to the people. As the objective is noble, the move has firm and wide backing of all segments of the society except those who are direct or indirect beneficiaries of the loathsome trade of fake and spurious drugs. Members of civil society loudly spoke against the illegal protest of chemists and druggists and urged provincial government not to succumb to undue pressure on this account. The provincial government is on the right side and must not bow before any pressure tactics and instead formulate a foolproof strategy to deal with the situation in a rationale manner. If government succumbs to such tactics then it is feared that there would be free for all and it would not be possible for authorities concerned to check adulteration or those producing fake medicines, foodstuff or goods. There cannot and should not be any compromise on health and safety of the citizens. No one objects to listening to chemists and addressing their legitimate concerns but no government worth the name would bow before illegitimate demand of chemists to allow continuation of illegal business by merchants of death. We hope the committee would not compromise health and safety of citizens by withdrawing the justified amendments and harsher punishment for those engaged in the business of spurious or substandard medicines.

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