Selina Akter, a resident of Chattogram's Rahattarpul area, bought medicines three times in the last one month from Amar Pharmacy. Last time, she bought Doxicap-100, a medicine that she could not find in the pharmacies in her residential area.
Later, the volunteers of Amar Pharmacy delivered the medicine at her doorstep after she ordered for it via telephone.
Not only Selina Akter, but many residents of Chattogram have also been receiving services from Amar Pharmacy, an initiative of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP).
The CMP started the initiative at a time when there has been a severe crisis of medicines in pharmacies of Chattogram, especially the medicines for fever, cold, cough and sore throat amid the Covid-19 pandemic, even if one is ready to spend several times more.
Amar Pharmacy began its operation on June 16 in Chattogram. It has been offering 15 percent discount on the market prices. In the first 39 days of its operation, it has delivered medicines worth Tk12 lakh. The average sale per day is worth around Tk30,769.
Twenty members of BM Riders, an organisation of motorcycle riders, have been working as volunteers for Amar Pharmacy under supervision of CMP Kotwali Police Station.
Mohammad Mohsin, officer-in-charge of CMP Kotwali Police Station, told The Business Standard, "We started Amar Pharmacy at a time when there was a crisis for medicine due to Covid-19. At that time, the pharmacies were selling medicines at a higher price. Our goal was to deliver medicines at peoples' doors at a lower price. People have welcomed Amar Pharmacy. We are receiving numerous calls every day."
Imran Rahman, a resident of Halishahar in the city, said, "I was searching for an antibiotic which I could not find in the pharmacies in my area. Later I called Amar Pharmacy and they delivered the antibiotic at my house. They also charged less than the market price for the medicine."
Initially, Amar Pharmacy provided medicines for Covid-19 patients. But now they have included medicines for general patients too. It has also been delivering medicines to the isolation centres set up for Covid-19 infected patients and patients with Covid-19 symptoms.
Mohammad Moshiur Rahman, a volunteer of Amar Pharmacy, told The Business Standard, "At first, we receive orders from the customers. Then we buy the ordered medicines from the wholesale stores and deliver them to the customers. We charge 15 percent less than the price written on the packet of the medicine."
"Amar Pharmacy has a fund of its own. Already Tk2 lakh has been provided as a subsidy from that fund. Besides, we provide free medicines for the poor. Medicines worth Tk60,000 have already been provided for the two isolation centres," he added.
From general people to officials of the health department, all have welcomed Amar Pharmacy for its extraordinary service.
Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, civil surgeon of Chattogram, said, "Amar Pharmacy is also a wonderful initiative like transporting patients on police vehicles and reaching groceries to the people's door. So far, many people have collected medicines from Amar Pharmacy. All the initiatives of CMP amid the Covid-19 pandemic are praiseworthy."
So far, 520 people have bought medicines via Amar Pharmacy. The pharmacy is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm. The service applies to the whole Chattogram city. The volunteers of Amar Pharmacy are also ready for service 24 hours a day if there is an emergency.