We take medicines 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 unauthorized drug manufacturers, country’s drug market has been saddled with substandard and fake medicines. Also, unauthorized selling of such medicines is jeopardizing public health across the country.
Noticeably, over the last few years, the fake drug market in Bangladesh has grown at a faster rate. Although government, national drug regulators and the drug industry itself have been struggling for years to curb sales of fake and poorly prepared medicines, efforts to control this problem have seen no remarkable success. Also, the existing penalties for counterfeiting drugs are not sufficient to deter this extremely profitable but immoral practice. 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.
All the stakeholders including the
government and drug manufacturers
should work in concert to control
the menace of fake medicine
Departmental apathy, reflected in 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 reason of growing fake medicines market lies in the vicious nexus among manufactures, the authority in the system and the original drug distributing channel. In Bangladesh, people largely remain unaware of the danger of fake medicine as there is no official reporting from the part of the media and the government regarding its sale and consumption. This helps all but the victims reap benefits.
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. A stronger state supervision of drug suppliers would be helpful to combat the practice of manufacturing fake drugs. All the stakeholders including the government and drug manufacturers should work in concert to control 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 give justice to 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.