About 40,000 medicine shops across Bihar will down shutters on April 12 demanding withdrawal of a government’s order, which, chemists and druggists said, would hit the retail business.
The Bihar Chemists and Druggists Association (BCDA) on Friday said the order 245(15), issued by the government recently, was irrelevant and impractical in the present context.
The BCDA demanded that the order, which stated that only licensed pharmacists could open medicine shops in accordance with the relevant law, should not be implemented.
Stating that there was shortage of trained pharmacists in the state, BCDA president Parsan Kumar Singh said the law enacted under the British rule had become irrelevant. “Gone are the days when pharmacists used to prepare medicines by mixing several chemicals,” he said.
“Now, we selling medicines, manufactured by different companies on doctors’ prescriptions, in sealed wrappers or vials,” he said.
“We have drawn the attention of Union and state governments over the irrelevant law many times and demanded necessary amendments,” he said.
Singh said the BCDA has decided to launch phase-wise agitation from April 6 to draw the attention of the government on the issue.
He said medicine shop owners would run their business by wearing black badges on April 6. The BCDA would decide future course of action after April 12.
Singh said the BCDA had demanded full list of registered pharmacists from the Pharmacy Council of Bihar so that chemists could get their services. “But we are yet to get the list,” he added.
He said a government letter, issued on March 28, had relaxed the conditions for opening of shops under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana.
“The new order also relaxed the norms of getting applications and issuance of licences to drug manufactures,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the department concerned is yet to issue new licences for retail medicine shops that have been stopped for quite some time now under the official order 245(15),” he added.