Medical store owners continues strike against new legislation

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CHITRAL/TIMERGARA: The chemists and druggists on Tuesday continued their shutter down strike in Chitral and Lower Dir districts.

The medical store owners went on strike on Monday in protest against an amendment to the Drug Act 1976 which made it obligatory on them to acquire the qualification of category-B certificate of pharmacy.

In Chitral, the political and civil society activists, including district nazim Maghfirat Shah, visited the sit-in camp of the chemists in front of the local press club and asked the government to accept their right demands.

Pakistan Chemists and Druggists Association (Chitral chapter) president Imran Hussain said that they were not against the amendment in its entirety, but they opposed only one of the sections which made it obligatory for the owners of medical stores to produce category-B licence for renewal of their drug licence.

Meanwhile, former MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali asked the government to repeal the controversial section of the law. Addressing a press conference in Chitral Press Club on Tuesday, he said that the closure of medical stores had created problems for the people of Chitral and the government would be held responsible if a patient died due to unavailability of drugs.

He threatened that a murder case could be registered against the chief minister if such an incident occurred.

In Timergara, the patients faced difficulties due to closure of medical stores, private clinics and laboratories. The chemists association has been demanding of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to restore the Drug Act 1976 in its original shape.

Also in the day, the chemists staged protest demonstrations at Chakdara, Talash, Samar Bagh and Timergara.
Provincial finance minister Muzaffar Said and Timergara tehsil nazim Riaz Mohammad visited the protest camps of chemists and expressed solidarity with them. They declared demands of the protesting chemists as genuine.

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