Chemists’ shops remain shut in Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh: A majority of the chemists’ shops in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh remained shut today following the call for a nation-wide, one-day strike against the central government’s new drug policy and its impact on traders.

Except for a few such shops at major government and leading private hospitals, chemists kept their shops shuttered Friday at most places.

In Chandigarh and nearby areas, over 1,400 chemists kept their shops shut.

“Only a few chemists operating in or near major hospitals and emergency areas remained open so that patients were not inconvenienced,” said a leader of the chemists’ association.

Across Punjab and Haryana, chemists’ shops remained shut throughout the day.

In the Dilkhusha market in Jalandhar, known for wholesale and retail chemists’ shops, all establishments remained closed.

Around 7.5 lakh chemists across India were on strike Friday, contending that the new drug policy of the central government will reduce their profits and cause inconvenience. Demonstrations and agitations were held in all parts of the country.

The demands include no reduction in trade margins as proposed in the new drug policy, not making it mandatory for a chemist to have a qualified pharmacist at the shop while selling medicines, chemists not to be held responsible for errors of manufacturers, and no Foreign Direct Investment in the pharma trade.

-IANS

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