LAHORE  - Medical stores and wholesaler druggists Monday put down the shutters across the province, including Lahore to protest against Punjab Drug Act 2017.

A complete strike at Lohari Medicine Market and partial strike of medical stores caused huge inconvenience to patients and their relatives who could be seen running here and there in search of medicines.

Medical stores outside teaching hospitals and chains of pharmacies continued businesses, giving some relief to the ailing humanity.

On the call of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and Distributors Association Punjab Chemist Council, Lahore’s medical stores went on a partial strike.

The JAC has announced its future strategy if the Drug Act is not restored to its original shape till Match 9. Led by leadership of PPMA, JAC and PCC, medical store owners held a demonstration outside Lahore Press Club to protest against enforcement of ‘controversial act’.

Carrying placards and banners inscribed with the demand for restoring act to its original shape, the protesters chanted slogans against the provincial government.  The JAC chairman said that Act of 1976 should be restored to its original shape. “We will not let the multinational companies take over our economy. Amendments to the law should be brought to the assembly,” he said. He accused the government of hoodwinking the stakeholders through meaningless dialogues after The Mall blast.

“If the government will not accept demands till March 9, we will go on strike for an indefinite period,” he said.

Drug Lawyers Forum, Young Pharmacist Association and Drug Retailers Association opposed the strike.

Meanwhile, Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir thanked the chemist community for opposing the strike. “Some black sheep are trying to degrade the law but chemist community fulfilled national responsibility and we will definitely resolve their issues on priority,” he said.

In this severe situation, patients have been facing difficulties since morning in getting medicines as pharmacies in different areas of the city remained closed.