Counterfeit drug trade

Destroy organised gangs, save lives

Published : 01 Apr 2022 07:57 PM

Organised counterfeiting gangs in different places of the country including capital Dhaka are allegedly producing various sophisticated and life saving copies of the country’s bestselling medicines. They manufacture counterfeit medicines using the brand logos of different well-known, trusted and prestigious pharmaceutical companies at their underground factories.

After manufacturing, the gangs transport counterfeit medicines to different districts using some groups active in Old Dhaka’s Mitford medicine market and other wholesale located in metropolitan cities and district towns. All medicine shop owners from the country’s remote areas visit the capital’s Mitford market and other division and district level wholesale markets to purchase drugs. The organised counterfeit drug production and marketing racket use those wholesale markets as hiding places to spread fake medicine across the country.

The government should get tough on 

counterfeiting gangs involved in 

copying and manufacturing medicines

The members of organised counterfeiting gangs are now actively distributing counterfeit medicines targeting the small-town pharmacies. These counterfeit medicines are being sold in the market at a much lower price than the real ones.

Police and Rapid Action Battalion busted many factories producing counterfeit medicine in Dhaka and other parts of the country. On Wednesday, plainclothes police arrested the owner and marketing officer of a pharmaceutical company from the Fakirerpool and Chawkbazar areas in the city. The detective police seized 10.34 lakh fake Pantonix tablets and 18,000 Monas tablets from them and their factory located at Darshana in Kushtia district.

The company named ‘West Pharmaceutical’ usually manufactures ayurvedic medicines But under the cover of ayurvedic medicines, Giyas Uddin was manufacturing the fake medicines using flour and dye while his assistant Akkas was distributing them in different districts. Traders procure these medicines and salves for sale at the Mitford market and other wholesale markets in the country in the hopes of raking in profits.

Apart from counterfeit drugs, the organised syndicates are also flooding the country’s markets with consignments of expired, unregistered, banned, sex enhancers and life-endangering medicines, putting the lives of people especially those who live in remote villages at risk.

Medicines are used to save lives but if people take counterfeit, expired, unregistered and banned ones they may face the instant consequence and even death. People take medicine when they get sick but they get sicker and sicker by taking these counterfeit drugs.

Every year many people die taking counterfeit medicines in our country due to lack of strict vigilance. Bangladesh is currently exporting medicines to 145 countries and such counterfeiting tarnishes the image of the industry.

The drug administration must take action against the manufacturers of these counterfeit drugs immediately as non-pharmaceutical grade chemicals can cause serious damage to the kidneys, liver and heart. The government should get tough on counterfeiting gangs involved in copying and manufacturing medicines.