The Pune City and District Chemists’ Association called off their two-day strike on Saturday morning after the Food and Drug Administration assured them they would meet their demands, but not before causing much inconvenience and stress for the sick and ailing at a time when seasonal ailments were on the rise.
Vijay Changediya, the secretary of the association, said that they held a meeting with FDA joint commissioner Sanjay Patil and FDA assistant commissioner Vinita Thomas, who assured them that they would adopt a practical approach before issuing ‘stop sale of drug’ notices during their inspections.
The chemists had shut shops on Thursday to protest against the manner in which the FDA had allegedly conducted inspections and cancelled licences. In barely two days, several citizens had to face the brunt of the strike and drug stores attached to hospitals that were kept open on an emergency basis witnessed a huge rush.
According to FDA assistant commissioner Vinita Thomas, they held a meeting with the chemists and agreed to their demand of ensuring that a public relations officer would be present throughout the day at the FDA office.
The officer will be able to help them in various matters related to procuring licences and other issues.
Changediya also pointed out that the FDA authorities had agreed to review the inspections carried out at drug stores in June in the presence of the members of the associations.
Meanwhile, the strike caused nervous moments for several families whose members were ailing. Jayshree Marale (65), who had severe diarrhea, had to be put on saline drop in a nearby clinic. She also needed some injections urgently.
However, since the chemists were on strike, no chemist was ready to open the shop.
“In Kasarwadi and nearby suburbs, I tried to convince the chemists that my grandmother was not in good condition and they should give me injections. However, they refused,” said Hrishikesh Marale, who then found the Niramaya Hospital medical shop open.
“I needed the injections in the morning, but they could be available only in the evening,” said Jayshree Marale.
The family said the non-availability of the crucial injections at nearby shops due to the strike kept them tense and scared for most of the day.
Like the old woman, several citizens had to run from one place to another to get medicines.
Only a few medical shops, especially those attached with hospitals were open during the strike. PCMC doctors said the chemist strike came at the wrong time for citizens as seasonal ailments are on the rise.