All 600 Patiala chemist shops to remain closed on Wednesday | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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All 600 Patiala chemist shops to remain closed on Wednesday

As part of the nation-wide strike called by Chemist Associations — both wholesale and retail, all the 600-odd shops in the district would down their shutters on Wednesday.

punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2015 21:18 IST
Jatinder Mahal
All local chemist unions — including wholesale dealers, retailers and even hospital medical shops — have decided to join the protest in the district.
All local chemist unions — including wholesale dealers, retailers and even hospital medical shops — have decided to join the protest in the district. (HT File Photo)

As part of the nation-wide strike called by Chemist Associations — both wholesale and retail, all the 600-odd shops in the district would down their shutters on Wednesday.

The chemists are up in arms over the Centre’s decision to allow and also regularise the business of selling medicine online and through e-pharmacies on the internet.

All local chemist unions — including wholesale dealers, retailers and even hospital medical shops — have decided to join the protest in the district.

“The sale of medicines through the online medium (e-sale) poses a big threat to the society and increases the risk of wrong use, as how does the seller knows the purpose for which the buyer will use the drug,” said Ramesh Kumar, president of Patiala Wholesale Chemist Association.

Members of the association claimed that they would submit a memorandum to the state government through civil surgeons at district-level on Wednesday, demanding adequate steps to safeguard the interests of chemists and ban online sale of all medicines.

“Certain medicines like Crocin cough syrup, Rivotril pills, I-pills, Nitrazepam tablets and sleeping pills are not allowed to be stored in bulk, without the permission of the state government. Now, how have the e-medicine sellers procured their stock?,” Kumar added.

Meanwhile, following the strike call, government-run shops across hospitals have said that they would refill their stock of all essential medicines.

“We have a government-run chemist in the Rajindra Hospital. I have asked my staff to ensure that adequate stock is stored. I have asked my staff to be prepared for rush and ensure medicine stock does not deplete. We will work to avoid any emergency,” said medical superintendent Dr BL Bhardwaj.

“There are 3,200 chemist shops in the state. All of us will go on an indefinite strike if the state government fails to address our demands within a week,” said Surjit Singh, president, Punjab Chemist Association.

He added that in spite of several meetings with the state government, including health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani, there had been no solution to the impasse.

“In the interest of public welfare, we had issued a public notice warning about Wednesday (October 14) strike on September 21,” he claimed, when queried on the grave inconvenience it would cause to the public.

Key demands

•Adequate steps to safeguard the interests of chemists

•Banning the online sale of all medicines.

Govt-run shops refill stock

Following the strike call, government-run shops across hospitals have said that they would refill their stock of all essential medicines. “We have a government-run chemist in the Rajindra Hospital. I have asked my staff to ensure that adequate stock is stored. I have asked my staff to be prepared for rush and ensure medicine stock does not deplete. We will work to avoid any emergency,” said Rajindra Hospital medical superintendent Dr BL Bhardwaj.

Voices

“Certain medicines like Crocin cough syrup, Rivotril pills, I-pills, Nitrazepam tablets and sleeping pills are not allowed to be stored in bulk, without the permission of the state government. Now, how have the e-sellers procured their stock?” questioned Ramesh Kumar, president, Patiala Wholesale Chemist Association.