Medicine price hike

Purveyors of fake medicine must be held to account

Published : 30 May 2023 09:16 PM

When general people are bearing the brunt of price hike alongside reeling from unprecedented economic crises, the skyrocketing price hike in medicines is not acceptable at all. The unprecedented drug price hike is hitting the poor cluster of the society and middle income families hard as well.

The prices of 234 life saving essential medicines have gone up by about 10-15 percent at the retail level recently as there is no legal mechanism to check the drug price hike, according to media reports. The authorities concerned increased the prices of medicine by 50 percent to 100 percent last year. Around 16 per cent of patients refrain from taking necessary healthcare services due to the continuous rise in out-of-pocket expenditure every year. 

Bangladesh has high prevalence of non-communicable, communicable and viral disease such as cardiovascular ailments, diabetes and hypertension. As millions of people suffer from these common health issues, it is very difficult for them to purchase medicines because of high price.

Physicians must refrain from

prescribing unnecessary 

drugs for commission

The price hike in medicines has also encouraged the organised counterfeiting gangs in different places of the country to manufacture various sophisticated and life saving copies of the bestselling medicines. It is alleged that they are sending these fake medicines to the pharmacies situated in remote villages across the country through courier services.

People take medicine when they get sick but they get sicker and sicker by taking these counterfeit drugs. 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.

The government should strictly monitor the medicine market to control prices of essential drugs. If medicine shop owners extract additional price, they should be brought to book and put on trial. Apart from this, the government also will have to launch a crackdown on counterfeiting gangs involved in copying and manufacturing medicines immediately.

Considering the overall situation, the government hospitals and community clinics can play key role in providing primary healthcare services and some medicines free of cost to the rural people. Simultaneously, the affluent people of the society and businessmen should extend their all out supports to the poor patients to get essential medicines.  

The physicians must refrain from prescribing unnecessary drugs for commission. Last but not the least, the government must take immediate steps to lower the prices of life-saving drugs to ease rising burden of living cost on general people.