Pharmacy selling medicines at cheaper rate reopens

Published On: February 20, 2018 06:15 AM NPT By: Suresh Yadav

JANAKPUR, Feb 20: After Janakpur-based Ramas Public Pharmacy was found to be selling medicines in half the rate of the existing market price, the district chapter of Nepal Chemist and Druggist Association had halted the supply of medicine to the drug store, arguing that it would render other pharmacies jobless. On Monday, the pharmacy was reopened under pressure from the District Administration Office (DAO), Janakpur.

The pharmacy, which is in Ramananda Chowk, has been selling medicines to the general public charging very minimal profit at around half the market price. Medicine entrepreneurs of the district joined hands to impose a halt in the supply of medicines to Ramas Public Pharmacy. They have been imposing the restriction since January 24.

Following the restriction, Pawan Sahani, operator of Ramas Pharmacy, then organized a press conference and urged stakeholders to take action against the association for taking steps against public welfare. 

However, after the local administration did not heed to his request, Sahani started relay hunger strike on February 4. The hunger strike is still ongoing. Monday is the 16th day of the hunger strike. After the locals started strongly criticizing the inaction of the DAO, the office then wrote to the association instructing it to ease medicine supply to the pharmacy.

The DAO had written to the association last Wednesday. Although the association initially was reluctant to follow the instruction, it eventually agreed to ease supply after pressure from local youths.

Sahani, the operator of Ramas Public Pharmacy, however, is skeptical about the association's motive. “Perhaps they will ease the supply for a few days. But they can easily obstruct it again,” he said. He demanded assurance from the Department of Drugs Administration for smooth supply of medicines. 

Meanwhile, the chairman of the district chapter of the association, Satya Narayan Sah, said there is no obstruction from their side in medicine supply. “We only stopped the supply suspecting that the operator was selling medicines at cheaper rates only for a few days to attract customers. But now, we have already decided to ease the supply,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Janakpur's Chief District Officer Dillip Kumar Chapagain said the association is trying to create syndicate by halting the supply to those who are selling it with minimum profit. He issued a strong warning stating that he would take action if the supply is not eased immediately.

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