Strike by pharmacists

Shutter down strike by pharmacists is a source of deep trouble
and agony for people in Punjab. Majority of pharmacies and medical stores in Rawalpindi as well kept their shutters down to protest against amendments to the Drug Act. A large number of people protested against amendments to the Drug Act and blocked Murree Road on Monday.
According to President of Pakistan Chemists and Druggists Association (Rawalpindi Chapter) all factories and medical stores would remain closed and the protest would continue till withdrawal of, what he called, the ‘cruel’ changes made in the 1976 Drug Act. He threatened that if Punjab government fails to resolve their issues, they would come on roads along with their families. But their protest seems to be unjustified as under the amendments to the Drug Act, seller of substandard medicines will get punishment of five-year jail with Rs1 million fine, seller of fake medicine will undergo five-year imprisonment with fine of Rs50 million. Those found selling medicines without license will get 10-year jail and will be fined Rs100 million. This makes it quite clear that the Act is against those involved in production and selling of fake and spurious drugs or selling them without a valid licence. The protest is nothing but sheer blackmail and a pressure tactic to keep the hands of law away from those who can otherwise be considered as killers of the humanity. Why not to take action against a drug manufacturing facility or chemist involved in fake business leading to health complication of patients and even threatening their very life? Similarly, all over the world medicines are sold by qualified people but here illiterate people, even unable to read the prescription, are running pharmacies. The Act is against those involved in illegal activities and not against those who are doing legitimate and genuine business. Therefore, we would urge the Punjab Government not to succumb to the pressure and proceed ahead as per dictates of the law. If the government succumbed to their unjust and illegal demand, there would be free for all and all adulterators too would seek immunity from law.

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