The Pakistan Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has declared a strike from Monday against the latest Drug Act in Punjab, due to it various medical stores have been shut down in Punjab and Sindh.

The strike will be continued unless the government calls for the amendments to the Drug Act, 1976.

Pharmacies in Karachi, Lahore, Rahim Yar Khan, and Vehari are closed as of today causing difficulties for people who are out in search of medicines. The President of Karachi Wholesale Chemist Council of Pakistan mentioned that the entire wholesale medicine market would be closed and the distribution has been halted as well.

Pharmaceutical Associations of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have also supported this strike. 

Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, mentioned to reporters that no one would be allowed to sell and manufacture below average drugs in Punjab. He also mentioned that strict action would be taken against people who cause harm to human lives. A five-year jail sentence and one million rupees have been announced for those who will be selling sub-standard medicines.

The minister said he held talks with a large delegation of the Pakistan Chemist Retailers Association, headed by its chairman Ishaq Mayo at the Directorate-General Health Services.

It is reported that due to internal differences between PPMA and Pakistan Chemists’ & Druggists’ Association (PCDA) one group has announced the strike while the other has negotiated with the minister, Nazeer and has now decided to postpone strike until February 20.

Dr. Haroon Yousaf, general secretary of Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association mentioned that Pakistan’s pharmacists are accepted across the globe and such derogatory laws against them would cause the entire pharmacist community to migrate off to the US, Canada, and Australia.

Let’s wait and watch how soon medical stores in the country go back to business after the strike.

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