Fresh drug law on cards to curb offences

Collaboration among stakeholders a must for combating counterfeit drug trade

Published : 12 Aug 2022 08:03 PM

Counterfeit drug trade has grown at a faster rate over the last several years in Bangladesh. Authorities concerned have been struggling for years to curb sales of fake and substandard medicines and efforts to control this problem have seen no remarkable success. Moreover, the existing penalties for manufacturing fake drugs are not sufficient to deter this extremely profitable but immoral practice.

It is good to note that the government is going to enact a fresh law titled ‘Drugs Act, 2022’ with tougher punishment in order to prevent malpractice in production, storage and sale of counterfeit or adulterated medicines. 

Reportedly, the Cabinet approved the draft of the proposed law at the Cabinet meeting held in the Bangladesh Secretariat on Thursday. According to the draft law, a person will be jailed for 10 years with a maximum  fine of Tk 10 lakh if found guilty of producing, importing, exporting, storing and selling counterfeit or adulterated medicines as well as selling stolen government drugs.

The government must provide adequate 

manpower and resources for monitoring 

the production of all types of drugs

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.

Experts are of the opinion that unregistered shops are getting a scope to do business due to the weakness of the regulatory body. Shortage of manpower and lack of lab facilities to check purity of drugs are the main reasons for the growing spurious drug industry of the country. Also 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. 

Considering all above, the government should formulate an integrated strategy and form a high level taskforce involving the all the departments concerned to check the alarming growth of fake medicine across the country and act accordingly in no time. 

It is time for all the stakeholders including the government and drug manufacturers to join hands together for controlling the menace of fake medicine. Last but not least, the government must provide adequate manpower and resources for monitoring the production of all types of drugs.