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Monday, March 25, 2019 02:38:28 PM
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Save people from taking counterfeit medicines

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06th-Jan-2019       
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THE government has taken effective steps of setting up six mini-labs at district level to check counterfeited drugs for ensuring safe drugs for citizens. The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) with the help of USAID has set up the portable labs that would maximize the capacity of the directorate in checking drugs either fake or original. Before launching the six mini-labs, the DGDA had only two labs to monitor 40,285 products of 858 local pharmaceuticals companies and a lot of imported medicines. The mini-labs will relief the drug administration, though very little, in its acute inadequacy of resource, manpower and laboratory facilities.
We know, some drug traders are doing their illicit business almost freely. News media several times reported that fake life-saving drugs have flooded the country's markets. In our observation, lack of surveillance by law enforcement agencies and method to verify the drugs' originality are two main reasons behind the present situation. Substandard and fake medicines can cause treatment failure and have adverse impacts on patients. They can also increase mortality and raise the chance of antibiotic resistance. Rural people, who are believed unaware of the situation are generally the victims of the adulterated medicines. Recently, a lot of people are being cheated buying adulterated insulin. As the telecommunication became cheaper and widespread in the country, it is not difficult to initiate verifying system by manufacturers, importers or drug administration. According to the drug makers, an estimated Tk 600 crore of counterfeit medicines is traded in the Tk 18,000 crore medicine market in Bangladesh each year.
Two local companies, however, have introduced SMS-based authentication service in the country and several mobile apps also provide the image of original drugs though the apps are not known to all. All the major drug manufacturers should be brought under umbrella apps by the Health Ministry.
Hopefully, the steps of the government to stop the counterfeiting drugs would pull the mad rush of drugs counterfeiting. The officials concerned must be sincere in this regard as the issue directly involves to the public health.

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