Sale of counterfeit medicines

Take tough action save lives

Published : 01 Apr 2024 09:41 PM

Sale of counterfeit and date-expired medicines is going unabated across the country, including the capital Dhaka and intake of such drugs poses a serious threat to public health. People take medicine when they fall sick, but after taking counterfeit drugs, their condition deteriorates and even they invite their death instead of getting cured.  

The people in rural and even the urban areas across country cannot identify fake drugs and so they without any hesitation buy such medicines for their treatment. Every year many people die after taking counterfeit medicines in our country. A syndicate has been counterfeiting expensive and widely-used medicines of various renowned brands for treatment of deadly cancer and diabetes. Bangladesh is currently exporting medicines to around 145 countries. Manufacturing and sale of counterfeiting drugs tarnishes the image of the country’s pharmaceutical industry. Bangladesh Post on Monday ran a story headlined “Shady deal in shoddy medicine”, saying lives of the ailing people in the country, of late, are being exposed to the danger of fake drugs. Patients are taking fake medicine without their knowledge and this makes the healing of diseases impossible.

Organised counterfeiting gangs are involved in heinous activities in the capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, according to intelligence sources. After manufacturing, members of organised syndicate supply counterfeit drugs to different districts using some groups active in Old Dhaka’s Mitford medicine market and other wholesale markets located in the metropolitan cities and district towns. They usually send these fake medicines to the pharmacies situated in remote villages across the country courier services. Owners of the rural medicine shops buy these bestselling medicines at very low price and sell them to the customers at real prices. 

Every year many people

 die after taking counterfeit

 medicines in our country

The organised counterfeiting gangs are still active across the country. They manufacture counterfeit drugs using the brand logos of different well-known, reputed pharmaceutical companies at their underground factories.

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 drug production and marketing racket use those wholesale markets to spread fake medicine across the country.

The members of organised counterfeiting members distribute counterfeit medicines targeting the pharmacies located in the small towns, police say. These counterfeit medicines are being sold in the market at a price much lower than the real price.

Police and Rapid Action Battalion busted many counterfiet medicine factories in Dhaka and other parts of the country. Traders procure these medicines for sale at the Mitford market and other wholesale markets in the country to make a quick buck. Apart from counterfeit drugs, the organised syndicate are also flooding the country’s markets with consignments of expired, unregistered, banned, sex-stimulating and medicines, putting the lives of people, particularly those living in remote villages, at risk. 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. Counterfeit drugs are a death trap for the common people so such practice should not be tolerated. The government should launch a massive crackdown on counterfeiting gangs involved in manufacturing medicines immediately.