Punjab medical stores owners to protest changes in drugs act

Lahore: The owners of medical stores in Punjab have announced a strike for Monday (tomorrow) to protest the drug rules of the provincial government.

“We were not consulted when amendments were being made in the drug act,” Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association President Dr Muhammad Tahir Azam. He added the Drugs Act, 1976 was passed by the federal government, hence the amendments should also be done by the provincial government.

The protest will be held outside the Punjab Assembly building.

The amendments that have recently been made to the act have tightened the rules for medical stores.

For instance, almost all the medical stores across Punjab do not have a pharmacist, the amendments impose the need for one. There is also a dearth of registered medicines at the drug stores, while unregistered (herbal) medicines are always available – the government has said the stores with unregistered medicines would not only be sealed but owners will also be charged a hefty penalty. Moreover, many medicines are required to be kept in refrigerators, but most of the stores lack the proper place to keep such drugs, compromising on their quality. The Punjab government has also decided to penalise store owners who sell such medicines.

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