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    Chemists of Chitral to go on shutter down strike from Monday against the amendment in Drug Act 1976

    By Zahiruddin

    CHITRAL: The chemists in Chitral have decided to go on shutter down strike from Monday against the amendment in Drug Act 1976 which made it obligatory for them to acquire the qualification of pharmacy category ‘B’ certificate to run their medical stores.

    Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the president of Chitral chapter of Pakistan Chemists and Druggists Association, Imran Hussain said that the strike will continue till the condition is not repealed by the government.

    Flanked by the president of Pharma Suppliers Association, Murad Khan and others leaders, he said that the controversial clause in the amendment of the drug Act will render  3500 chemists in Malakand Division and 250,000 in the province jobless.

    Mr. Hussain  said that at present, the store owners had obtained drug license based on category ‘C’ pharmacy certificate and a large number of them were running the business since the last five decades.

    He said that they were not averse to the amendment in the drug Act in its entirety but they were of the contention that the new condition should be made applicable to those applying afresh as it is the case in other departments where new laws are not applied to the existing staff.

    Citing example of education department, he said that the government enhanced the minimum qualification of primary teacher as intermediate certificate but the teachers wielding matriculation certificate were not terminated from the service nor it was made compulsory for them to pass higher examination.

    He lamented that the on one hand the government was asking the chemists to acquire higher proficiency to save their drug licenses from cancellation but on the other, the medical faculty of the province has failed to conduct examination for category ‘B’ pharmacy certificate for the last eighteen years.

    He said that strike will continue indefinitely till the controversial section is repealed from the amendment while no medical store owner will open his shop to provide medicine even in emergency case in which the life of patients is at risk.


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