Chemists in four states to down shutters Aug 1

July 23rd, 2011 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The government’s proposal to introduce stricter norms for sale of antibiotics has not gone down well with chemists across the country, who plan to stage a protest here and down shutters in four states Aug 1, drug sellers said Saturday.

“Chemists from 32 states are coming to Delhi on Aug 1 and a protest will be staged at Jantar Mantar while over 91,000 shops in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Orissa will remain closed on the day,” All India Chemist Association president Kailash Gupta told IANS.

The association has over six lakh members, he said.

The chemists are opposed to a proposal which requires them and doctors to retain prescriptions so that the abuse of antibiotics could be checked.

“If the medicines are restricted from sale, black-marketing will increase and it will give rise to corruption,” said Gupta.

“Ultimately the patients will suffer, as medicines will not be available,” he said.

The government claims the steps are needed to check the overuse of antibiotics, leading to development of multi-drug resistant bacteria.

“At present, only advanced antibiotics have been included (in the proposal). This system (of retaining prescriptions) is prevalent in many countries. The step is necessary, as overuse of antibiotics has led to several problems like development of multi-drug resistant bacteria. This will be a long term problem,” said a union health ministry official, who did not wish to be named.

“New policies need more effort, we have to take this step and expect cooperation,” he added.

The chemists said if their demand for scrapping this proposal was not met, they would intensify their protest.

“This is the first stage of the protest that we are closing shops in four states. If our demands are not met, we will extend it to all states,” Gupta added.

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