About 4,000 retail and 2,800 wholesale medical stores in Lucknow remained closed since Wednesday morning in support of the nationwide strike called by the All India Chemists And Druggist Organisation (AICDO) to rally against online pharmacy.
Majority of the shops in the state capital open between 10am and 10.30am but these were shut on Wednesday.
“I visited a doctor with my uncle in the morning but to purchase the drugs he has prescribed, I have to wait till the evening when some of the chemist shops might open,” said Sudhir, a resident of Rajajipuram.
Chemist shops in all major areas such as Chowk, Aminabad, Indira Nagar, Gomti Nagar, Alambagh and Jankipuram remained closed. However, medicine stores at government and private hospitals remained open.
Medicine traders also took out a march from Aminabad market to protest against online pharmacies.
“Permission for online sale of medicines will make about 40 lakh people, employed at different medical stores, jobless. Thousands of medical stores across the country will bring down shutters on their shops in protests against online pharmacies,” said Giriraj Rastogi, patron of All India Chemists and Druggist Organisation’s Uttar Pradesh chapter.
“Buying drugs online, something that the Central government is planning to give permission to, is illegal. It’s also risky as it can promote irrational use of drugs, especially sedatives. Online drug delivery is an illegal trade that is not permitted under the Drug and Cosmetic Act,” said Suresh Gupta, general secretary, AICDO.