All Pakistan Chemist Association has been observed to conduct a shutter-down strike on Thursday across Punjab opposing the Drug Act 2017.
Several Pharmacies and Medical stores in Lahore, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Vehari, Kasur and other cities are closed in a call of the strike by the association.
However, the reports stated the association has been divided into two groups, one group has already announced their detachment from the protest. As a result of strike general public and patients have been suffering across the province due to unavailability of the required medicines. Major stores are closed in the major cities and the people are facing difficulties in getting their prescribed medicine.
In Lahore, the pharmacies just outside Services Hospital are entirely shut down while few of the stores are still open outside the Mayo and Ganga Ram hospital.
The association is demanding to restore the Drug Act 1976 and remove the current Punjab Drug Act 2017; they have also announced the protest outside the Lahore Press Club on Thursday at 12:00 pm.
The Punjab Drug Act 2017 is a naked sword over the people involved in selling drugs fake or without the license. Earlier there was only one-year detention and Rs10,000 fine over selling substandard drugs. Now, in the new Act, 2017 the detention period is extended up to 5 years and fine up to Rs1 million.
Earlier, for selling fake drugs the accused could face 3 years of detention and Rs10 million fine, while under the new act the accused could face 5 years of detention and Rs50 million fine. Similarly, selling drugs without license and involvement in supportive activities of selling fake drugs introduced heavy fines and punishments in the Punjab Drug Act, 2017.