Patna, January 22-Bihar Chemist and Druggist Association has called for a three-day strike starting from Wednesday January 22 to January 24 to protest the harrassment meted out to the drugstore owners by pharmacists and drug inspectors.
A statement released by the association said, “Let us tell you that the association has been accusing the pharmacist of harassing drug shoppers in the name of the presence of pharmacists in drug stores and technical mistakes during departmental inspection. The government has made the appointment of a pharmacist mandatory for every drugstore. The Bihar Chemist and Druggist Association has announced a strike regarding this.”
There around 35,000 retail and 20,000 wholesale chemist shops across the state. Even the emergency services will be shut down on these two days. However, drugstores selling emergency and life-saving drugs are to be remained open.
According to a report in The Times of India, the association president PK Singh said that they received threats of licence cancellation by the health ministry officials after the latter learnt about the strike.
“We want to tell the authorities that if they pressurise us in such manner then the three-day strike would be extended for an indefinite period. Also, we will withdraw our decision to allow emergency and life-saving drug supplying shops inside hospitals to keep open,” the report in the daily quoted him as saying.
While stating their demands, Singh said that either the state government should provide a pharmacist to each retail shop or let them continue with the old system where one pharmacist used to handle at least ten drugstores given the huge scarcity of pharmacists in state, the report stated.
“Our second demand is to withdraw departmental order dated March 29 last year in which guidelines for inspecting a shop were described. We demand that if licence is granted under Drugs and Cosmetics Act then inspection be also made according to the its guidelines,” Singh said.