HYDERABAD: Nearly 25,000 medical shops in Telangana will remain shut for a day on September 28 as a symbol of pharmacists’ protest against ‘witch-hunt’ by the state’s Drug Control Administration (DCA).
Earlier, more than 500 medical shops had to be shut down for 10 days on the orders of DCA which claimed to have found them selling Schedule H and H1 drugs without prescription.
Recently, the DCA has conducted checks for the same violation and issued show-cause notices to more than 330 shops, which are likely to shut down for a period of 10 days, depending on their response to the DCA.
The call for bandh is given by The Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association. If the bandh is observed, patients in need of emergency drugs will be put to distress as about 85 pc of the 29,000-odd shops in the state will be closed. The DCA will hold a meeting to chalk out a plan to avert inconvenience to people.
Though the association admitted that the Scheduled drugs were sold without prescription, they said the poor financial condition did not allow patients to buy full course of medicines and they made the purchases in instalments.
Antibiotics, anti-tuberculosis, painkillers, habit-forming and other important drugs are listed under Schedule H & H1, which are not to be sold without prescription according to Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
“Is it a mistake of chemists to help poor patients on humanity grounds by providing medicines?” asked S Venkatapathi, president of The Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association, adding that in rural areas people cannot get a prescription as there is a dearth of qualified doctors there.
But DCA officials said repeated use of antibiotics and other Schedule-H and H1 drugs would render the dose ineffective and patients had to opt for higher dosage drug when the same ailment hits them again.