Pharmacies in Kashmir are looking to start doorstep delivery services of medicines to allow people in the valley to stay indoors as the pandemic is spreading. Chemists, pharmacists, and distributors have also circulated their phone numbers across the valley to allow people to book essential medicines during the period of coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown.
However, the restrictions imposed by the local police and paramilitary forces on internal travels have come as a hindrance to doorstep delivery operations of pharmacies. As per a report by ET, the police and paramilitary forces deployed on the ground do not allow the people making these deliveries to pass through the barriers erected across the region.
Fayaz Azad, president of the Chemist and Druggist Association of Kashmir, told ET that they are just looking to help the people in the region and ensure that no one loses their life due to terminal illness, coronavirus or the lack of medicine on time.
Azad demanded that the force deployed on the ground should allow the delivery of medicines, considering it comes under essential items. He also emphasised that the police should allow people from the pharmaceutical industry to pass through after checking their documents.
But the regulatory restriction is not the only problem, the pharmaceutical sector of Kashmir is facing. There is still some reservation about how long the inventory is going to last. Azad highlighted that the medication supplies from other states have been erratic since March 15, and no new medicine has been transported to Kashmir for the past few days.
“We have enough medicine stocked here, but it cannot last forever. So, the government should tell us what is their plan about the supply of medicine, so that we can get clarity at the distribution level as well,” Azad added.
Meanwhile, the central government has allowed the doorstep delivery of all medicines — including prescription drugs that come under Schedule H — by persons holding a license under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
“The central government is satisfied that retail sale of drugs to the doorstep of consumers is essential to meet the requirements of the emergency arising due to pandemic COVID-19 and in the public interest, it is necessary and expedient to regulate the sale and distribution of drugs for their delivery to the consumers,’’ the Order, released on March 26, read.