Time to stamp out fake medicine

Unscrupulous purveyors must be held to account

We take medicine to save our lives, but in Bangladesh hundreds of thousands of people die every year taking counterfeit and substandard medicine. As no remarkable punitive actions have been taken so far against unauthorised drug manufacturers, country’s drug market has been saddled with substandard and fake medicines. Also unauthorised selling of such medicines is jeopardising public health across the country.

Those who neglect 

people’s lives for the sake 

of money must not be spared

Noticeably, over the last few years, fake drug market in Bangladesh has grown at a faster rate. Although the national drug regulators and the drug industry itself have been struggling for years to curb sales of fake medicines, efforts to control this problem have seen no remarkable success. If urgent action is not initiated, the market of fake medicines will grow in an exponential rate and thousands of people will die and suffer unreported. Government apathy, lack of adequate regulations, shortage of manpower (drug inspectors) and lack of lab facilities to check purity of drugs are the main reasons for the growing spurious drug industry of the country. The vicious nexus among manufactures, the active syndicate in the system and the original drug distributing channel are also to be blamed for this situation.

In Bangladesh, people largely remain unaware of the danger of fake medicine as there is no official reporting on the part of the media and the government regarding its sale and consumption.

Taking all these into consideration, government needs to formulate an integrated strategy and form a high level taskforce involving the departments concerned to check the alarming growth of fake medicine across the country and act accordingly. It is essential for all the stakeholders including the government and drug manufacturers to join hands together for controlling the menace of fake medicine. The government must also provide adequate manpower and resources for monitoring the production of all types of drugs. In order to serve justice to the victims, purveyors of counterfeit medicine must be held to account. Those who neglect people’s life for the sake of money must not be spared.