Up in arms: Pharma Association stages huge protest

Suggested amendments were equatable to a black law for nutraceuticals, pharmacies and medical stores in the province


Our Correspondent February 08, 2017
PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The Punjab Pharma Association on Wednesday criticised the provincial government for approving a bill seeking amendments to the Drug Act 1976, saying it will only create nepotism and open the doors to corruption.

A huge number of chemists and pharmacists held a protest against the bill near the Lohari gate.

President Drug Lawyer Forum Dr Noor Muhammad said the suggested amendments were equatable to a black law for herbal nutraceuticals, pharmacies and medical stores in the province.

“The imposed amendment is just an initial step of the government and ultimately the poor will have to bear it,” the official concluded.

He insisted that instead of strictly enforcing the pricing control authority, the provincial government was trying to control business of the entire pharma industry. Muhammad said this was unacceptable and unbearable for thousands of employees working in the field.

Most of the pharmaceutical companies, the president said, were involved in tax evasion and instead of pulling them into the tax net, the Punjab government approved amendments to the Drug Act 1976 which would affect chemists already finding it hard to survive.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2017.

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