With the mosquito-borne dengue infection continuing to increase at alarming rates the prices of certain brands of mosquito repellents have shot up, some even beyond the reach of the common people. Many customers have alleged that the prices of the repellents have been artificially inflated to make extra money.
The repellents in the form of creams, ointments, and sprays are being sold at two to four times higher than actual prices at different pharmacies in the capital.
Retailers in most pharmacies are selling Odomos, a non-sticky popular mosquito repellent ointment at Tk 300, Tk 350 and sometimes at Tk 500 whereas the actual price of this medicine is only Tk 125.
The officials of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) have found the evidence of selling mosquito repellents at higher prices at different pharmacies. Based on the findings DNCRP has taken action and shut down three such pharmacies for their illegal action. The Dhaka divisional market monitoring team of national consumer rights protection on Sunday conducted drives at different pharmacies in the capital’s Kalabagan areas and found the irregularities.
About the drive, the officials said, “After getting allegation of selling Odomos at higher prices, we have purchased medicine from different pharmacies impersonating as customers. We detected at least three pharmacies realizing inflated prices.” When asked about the drive, Deputy Director of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection Monjur Mohammad Shahriar said, “When we purchased medicine pretending as customers, they did not give us any receipt. It is a crime. We checked for the prices of the repellents and found that the allegations were genuine. Each pack of Odomos was sold at Tk 300, Tk 350 and even at Tk 500.”
He said, “When a country faces a crisis, a group of unscrupulous businessmen increase the price of products and create an artificial crisis- which is not acceptable. So we have conducted the drive.” “The alleged retailers are: Desh Pharmacy, Swiss Pharmacy, and My Pharmacy and temporarily closed these pharmacies,” he added.
He further said, “We have summoned the pharmacy authorities at our office on Monday. Apart from fine, we will also take other legal actions.” He also urged the pharmacy owners to sell the medicine at a reasonable price.