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Over 5,000 unlicensed pharmacies in N’ganj

Govt loses huge revenue

Published : 11 Mar 2021 09:42 PM | Updated : 12 Mar 2021 01:58 AM

Over 5,000 drug traders are running business without taking any license from the drug administration in the district for long time. As a result, the government is being deprived of huge revenue and customers are being cheated by paying higher prices, and even substandard medicines are being sold that cause harm to health.

District Druggists and Chemists Association president Shajahan Khan told Bangladesh Post that there are 5,000 licensed pharmacies. Of them, only 1,000 are their registered members, and 5,000 more pharmacies are running business without license.

Assistant Director of District Drug Administration office, Wahidur Rahman differs with the opinion of the president of District Druggists and Chemists Association and told Bangladesh Post that the number of licensed pharmacies is above 3,300 (three thousand three hundred). But he did not mention the number of unlicensed pharmacies in the district.

According to the drug administration office, anybody can seek a drug license but there must be a C-category pharmacist. Each applicant has to pay government fees of Taka 2,500 in the city area and Taka 1,500 for out of the city area with 15 percent VAT for a license. Besides, the license holder has to renew license every year paying government fees of Tk 1,800 in the city area and Tk 1,500 out of the city with 15 percent VAT.

“We are going to take punitive measures against illegal pharmacy soon but cannot go ahead right now for shortage of manpower in my office. We are the only three officials, who are monitoring the whole district” Wahidur Rahman said.

If the information of Shajahan Khan is correct, then it stands, the government is losing revenue amounting to Tk 1,25,000,00 (One crore twenty-five lakh) from 5,000 illegal pharmacies only as license fee every year.

Dr Asaduzzaman, Resident Physician (RP) of Narayanganj General Hospital told Bangladesh Post that a pharmacy cannot be run without a pharmacist and if a non-pharmacist sells any medicine to any customer without any prescription that might be harmful to the patient’s life.