Pharma shop owners struggle amid second wave

Business City Health

Medical shop owners are running out of general and Covid-19  related medicines due to second wave of Covid-19.

Bangalore: A young man Manjunath who had started a medical store in a rented room in Kumbalgodu had to borrow funds and has been running out of stocks. He is struggling to run his shop and is unable to support his family. After two years of his business, he saw an unexpected growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Six months later when the lockdown was abruptly removed his business reduced by 50 percent. Now with the second wave of the pandemic, his business was expected to grow but it came to a standstill due to lack of stock.

 “There is no stock of general medicines and masks. Medical sales are also gradually decreasing because of this pandemic Covid-19 situation,” said Rajesh Kumar, owner of the Padmavathi Medical Store.

Medical shops owners in Bangalore said that almost all medical shops are facing low availability of medicines due to sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in Bangalore. Manjunath said “We are losing our regular customers and so many people due to low availability of chest and lung drugs and also medicines which are used for lower the fever and help relieve the aches and pains.”

People grow anxious when they don’t get medicines for treating blood pressure issues or diabetes. “I come to this shop regularly, from the past 20 days I could not find diabetic tablets in the shop,” a customer Narasimhulu in Kumbalgodu.

“Some customers are asking for medicines which are not available in any medical store. Nowadays, we are facing low stock of medicine because of this pandemic situation. Every day many people come to buy medicine and go with empty hands because of low stocks,” said Bharath, owner of Bharath medical store in Shivaji Nagar, Bangalore. German Pharma distributors said that in the second wave of the pandemic, drugs related to Covid-19 are not been sold by retailers because they are selling those drugs in black market. So they send the drugs directly to the hospitals.

However, Ravindra, Pharmacy Association secretary said there are more than 1000 pharma distributors in Bangalore. They are distributing all medicines except medicines related to Covid-19 patients due to the second wave of Covid-19. A few shops are facing a lack of Covid-9 medicines in the shops due to the non-payments of bills.