(Saykot Murtaza): Spurious medicines are abundant in the markets and the affected people find no respite from those as there is no official initiative to protect them.
Two instances of how the patients are suffering from taking the spurious medicines available in the markets are given below.
Prof Dr. Zakaria swapan of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University is suffering from cancer and taking chemotherapy. As there was no improvement of his condition, he found out that the medicine used by him was not genuine. As a result his condition, rather, deteriorated. He was affected from fake or spurious medicine of a foreign brand while taking chemotherapy at a renowned hospital in the city. He has lodged a complaint in this regard to the Drug Department of the government, Health Directorate and Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council.
[sociallocker] A female College student came from Kushtia to a skin specialist of a government hospital in Dhaka for treatment. The physician prescribed an ointment for her use. The student procured the ointment of a foreign company from a pharmacy in Paltan area and started using it. But after three days the skin of her face started to wrinkle up and blacken. When she was taken to that physician, he said that the ointment was spurious. [/sociallocker]
In this way the markets are flooded with fake and spurious medicines, but there is no arrangement for protecting the affected patients. The government only launches occasional drives and seize fake, spurious and contraband medicines and punish a handful of people. But it is never ascertained as to how much harmful medicines are marketed or how many people are being affected by using those.
Recently the traditional paracetamol and medicines of diabetes of some big pharmaceutical companies of the country were declared banned and withdrawn from the markets as those were harmful to the human body. Launching a drive at Bristol Pharma Ltd in Gazipur on January 27 Drug Administration Department and RAB seized various unauthorized medicines and fined the company to the tune of Tk 20 lakh.
Before that 11,80,000 pieces of tablets and capsules of different types and 1,03,000 bottles of spurious, fake, and unauthorized medicines were seized by RAB in a drive in Mohakhali area, from Piancol Sourcing Ltd, Holy Drugs laboratories, Holy Food and Beverage Ltd and GK Pharma. According to Drug Administration Department sources, 1,189 cases were filed on the charges of importing, hoarding and selling illegal, spurious or smuggled medicines during the period from January to 13th December last year. During this period thirty one people were sentenced to serve different jail terms.
Professor ABM Faruk said the proposed National Drug Policy is lying with the ministry. The problems will be solved, at least partially, if the policy is approved and implemented.
The President of Bangladesh Medical Association Professor Dr. Iqbal Arsalan in this regard said work is going on for formulating a law to protect the patients.
If it can be done, the affected patients will get respite, he added. (Source: Amar Health)