Saturday, July 22, 2017 | ePaper

Date expired drugs, medicine flood Ctg markets

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A Correspondent :
Illegal and expired drugs and medicine are found in abundance in the markets of Chittagong. Several syndicates are engaged with the smuggling of illegal medicine here.  The Customs Authority, Drug Department, police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are yet to take any measures against the smugglers and traders of illegal and expired medicine.
According to sources, the authorities made special drives against the illegal drug traders and peddlers last year. But at present, the drives of law enforcing agencies are limited against the Yaba peddlers only. As a result, the medicine markets in the port city are flooded with many of expired and contra-banned drugs. Hence, renowned medicine manufacturing companies are counting loss and the public health is at risk now.
Besides making special drives against the illegal drug traders, the law enforcing agencies unearthed the names of illegal medicine companies from Chittagong several years before. At that time, the owners of the pharmacies at wholesale markets at Hazari Lane in Chittagong observed strike protesting the raids by the law enforcing agencies, in which the law enforcers had seized of huge amount drugs and medicine from the markets. The leaders of Bangladesh Chemists and Druggist Association demanded that the harassment of the owners of the pharmacies in Bangladesh by the law enforcers must be stopped.
The law enforcing agencies at the end succumbed to the fierce protest of the unscrupulous businessmen and refrained from taking any legal action against them. They have not even conducted any raid till now after that. Thus, the Chittagong markets have become a safe haven for manufacturing and marketing of illegal and expired drugs and medicine, putting the patients under threat of serious hazards.
Sources in RAB said the port city of Chittagong is being used for smuggling illegal drugs including Yaba, a drug containing morphine and amphetamine. RAB, BGB and police are taking steps to curb the smuggling of contraband drugs including Yaba.
According to the sources in law enforcing agencies, there are several syndicates in the port city, who smuggle drugs, wine and medicine etc. They are active in the hilly districts of Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and Bandarban, Ranga-mati and Khagrachhari. Wine, contraband drugs, sex stimulating tablets etc are smuggled from Myanmar, India and Thailand. Sea is the main route of the smuggling. Moreover, several fake medicine industries are involved with the act of producing illegal medicine in the port city now.
Besides marketing illegal drugs, sources say, vested quarters erase the dates of expiry label from the packets of medicine. The said syndicates are involved with pasting new date-label on packets of expired drugs and medicine. As a result, many recognized companies of drugs and medicine are counting loss now. Representatives of some recognized companies of drugs and medicine told The Asian Age that there are many expired drugs and medicine of their companies in the market which might cause serious harm to the public health.
They said, "If the customers check the label of the date of expiry, they can easily recognize the fake drugs and medicine". "The syndicates are abusing the fame of the recognized companies of drugs and medicine now," they added.

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