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Post demonetisation: Sleeping, anxiety pills sales up

There has been a rise in the sale of anti-depressants and blood pressure medicines after the demonetisation drive announced by the government.

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The demonetisation step taken by the Modi government has taken a heavy toll on citizens. There has been a rise in blood pressure and anxiety levels among people. Many of them are calling distress helplines to seek support while some others are seeking psychiatric help for overcoming depression. Many people have been struggling to manage their day to day expenses due to shortage of cash as ATMs are running short of cash. Massive queues are witnessed near those ATMs where cash is available as people are finding it difficult to withdraw their money.

Those people who have large amount of cash stashed at home are worried about how to dispose them. Since the government is keeping tab of deposits made from 9th November to 30th December an amount exceeding Rs 2,50,000 will be reported to income tax department which is worrying some people. The new cap of Rs 2,000 amount for exchanging old notes with new notes has further made matters worse as those people possessing huge volume of old notes are finding it difficult to exchange them. People are worried that they might receive a notice from the income tax department if they deposit lumpsum amount of money in their account.

A pharmacist from Shifa Medicals, Malad (W) said, “There has been a rise in the sale of anti-depressants and blood pressure medicines. We sell medicines to only those patients producing valid doctor’s prescriptions.”

“Since last few days many people had visited my clinic as they are worried due to cash crunch. I am providing counselling to people to overcome their fear after the government had scrapped high denomination notes,” said a psychiatrist from Malad on the condition of anonymity.

“The Modi government may have taken the right step to eradicate black money and corruption from the country. However, the government should have made proper arrangements of lower denomination currencies before implementing this decision. The demonetisation drive could have been undertaken in a phased manner so that it could have eased people’s woes,” said Ramesh Agarwal a Borivali resident.

A Joint Commissioner rank officer of FDA on the condition of anonymity said, “We are keeping an eye on the sale of anti-depressants and blood pressure medicines through medical stores. If pharmacists sell these medicines without asking for prescriptions from patients then we will take strict action against them.”

Many people have died while standing in queue outside banks for exchanging and depositing money in their accounts. So far the demonetisation drive has claimed 55 lives across the country.

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