Adulterated drugs worth about Tk 300cr are said to be produced annually in the country every year and such illegal clandestine trade is increasing by the day in absence of literally no vigilance.
This was stated by speakers at a human chain held in front of Shahbagh National Museum on Saturday with the joint initiative of 10 organizations who work in favour of the environment including the Environment Protection Movement (POBA).
The speakers strongly demanded immediate action against such illegal trade and punish those involved in adulteration business which poses health risks to the consumers.
The speakers said that at present there are about 300 pharmaceutical companies in the country with a current market value of Tk 17,000 cr. At present, only 3pc of medicines have to be imported and 97 percent of the country's demand is being met from domestic production.
Bangladesh exports medicines to 157 countries after meeting the demand of the country. However, some licensed and unlicensed companies are making and marketing adulterated drugs for more profit, which is doing more harm than just financially harming people, they added.
According to information published on BBC News, 25,000 types of medicines are produced annually in Bangladesh, of which the government has the capacity to test only 4,000 medicines. Two-thirds of the drugs are adulterated or substandard. The remaining 21,000 types of drugs are never tested.
The speakers said, “Experts believe that at least two percent of the total drugs produced in the country, i.e. more than Tk 300 crore per year, are adulterated or expired drugs. Various anonymous companies market date-expired adulterated drugs with no production or expiry date printed on the products. Proper implementation of Drugs Act 1940 and National Drug Policy 2018 is essential.”
They further said that, if necessary, the law should be amended and severe punishment should be served so that no one would dare to market such illegal drugs. Apart from playing an important role in the administration, the pharmaceutical industry association should also play a role in this regard.
POBA Chairman Abu Naser Khan and Editor MA Waheed presided over the human chain. POBA General Secretary Engineer Md Abdus Sobhan, Director General of Human Rights Development Center Mahbul Haque, President of Social Power Md Habib Ullah, Chief Coordinator of Bangladesh Tourist Cyclist Rojina Akter and others were present at the human chain.