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Wednesday, June 19, 2019 11:14:04 PM
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Govt's machinery is broken: HC's direction is welcome but will not work

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20th-Jun-2019       
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Selling and storing of substandard and expired drugs in the pharmacies across the country have reached such a dangerous stage that it has now become extremely harmful for the public health requiring the High Court to interfere.  The government seems to have totally failed to ensure proper monitoring in this regard. As a result patients are compelled to take ineffective and poisonous medicine. The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to confiscate all expired medicines from pharmacies across the country and destroy those within a month. Our question is - despite existence of the Directorate General of Drug Administration, why the court has to interfere? Usually, a patient intakes medicine believing that he would be cured taking it. But in fact his illness could turn into critical condition following the adulterated medicines. Whereas we see, the authorities are too reluctant to address the issue.
The HC ordered the government to take 'legal action' against those involved in storing, supplying and selling expired medicines. Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) found expired medicines in 93 per cent of the pharmacies in the capital where it conducted drives over six months. Amid the alarming situation, President of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries Nazmul Hasan Papon said that availability of expired medicines in the country's pharmacies is "not unusual" and that there is "no reason to be worried". The HC said both adulterated and expired medicines are being stored and sold though there are multiple government agencies to prevent it. The court mentioned that the expiry dates of medicines are printed on packets in such small fonts that it is very difficult to read those.
The truth is there is no accountability of the officials or the minister to their duty. The health minister knows his competence is not important, his loyalty to the prime minister is everything. The minister has no control over his officials. It is truly a no government situation. The government survives through fear created by police, RAB and various agencies.
The Supreme Court or any court cannot run the government. The government cannot also be changed by the people. Despite efforts by the Supreme Court the broken government machinery will not work. But it is our country and we are the people so we must not give up.
The High Court Division's direction is welcome, but as the government machinery itself has become unworkable only fear of the police or the court's direction will not be of much help.


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