Thousands of pharmacies shut in UP over proposed ‘impractical’ rules
Around 8,000 stores in Lucknow, the state capital, were closed, and representatives of unions for pharmacies said most of the 75,000 all over the state were shut as well for the day-long strike.india Updated: May 30, 2017 12:35 IST
Thousands of drug stores in Uttar Pradesh did not open for business on Tuesday morning, protesting proposed government rules that they say will make selling medicines “tedious and impractical”.
Around 8,000 stores in Lucknow, the state capital, were closed, and representatives of unions for pharmacies said most of the 75,000 all over the state were shut as well for the day-long strike called by the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).
“The medicine shop in Hazratganj opens before 9.30 am but its 10 now and the shutter is still down,” said Rakesh Sharma, a local resident who was looking for fever medication.
Medicine stores in hospitals and at emergency wards, however, did not participate in the strike.
“Selling medicine will become near impossible,” said Giriraj Rastogi, patron, Chemists and Druggists’ Federation of Uttar Pradesh (CDFUP), referring to the new Union government proposals.
“Under the plan, it will become mandatory for wholesalers to generate bills and upload it on a central server before selling drugs to a retail chemist. Also, a chemist will have to upload each prescription on the same server before they can generate the bill for a patient, which will be tedious and impractical,” said Vikas Rastogi, spokesperson Lucknow Retail Chemists Association.
The traders have decided to take out a march during the day and hand over memorandums to the district magistrate, one addressed to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister and another to the Prime Minister. “We wish our issues be solved and we are not forced take the agitation further,” said Suresh Gupta, general secretary of the AIOCD.