After the final hearing was concluded on January 31, the High Court bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan were supposed to deliver the verdict on February 9, but deferred to a new date, said Manzil Murshid lawyer of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
The writ petition was filed on June 5 by HRPB, stating that a committee of medicine experts had advised a parliamentary watchdog in January last year to cancel the licenses of 20 companies, stop production of 14 other companies who manufacture antibiotics (penicillin, non-penicillin and cephalosporin groups) and suspend 22 companies who produce penicillin and cephalosporin based drugs, but no steps had been taken.
The petition also stated that on April 21, 2016 Health Minister Mohammed Nasim ordered the DGDA to cancel the licenses of the 20 companies, but the DGDA had yet to take any steps in this regard.
After holding the primary hearing, the High Court issued an interim order, asking the government to stop production at 20 pharmaceutical companies and the production of antibiotics at 14 other drug companies within seven days.
The 20 companies are Avert Pharma, Bikalpa Pharmaceutical, Dolphin Pharmaceuticals, Drugland, Exim Pharmaceutical, Globe Laboratories, Jalpa Laboratories and Kafina Pharmaceuticals, Medico Pharmaceutical, National Drug, North Bengal Pharmaceutical, Rimo Chemical, Rid Pharmaceutical, Skylab Pharmaceutical, Spark Pharmaceutical, Star Pharmaceutical, Sunipun Pharmaceutical, Today Pharmaceutical, Tropical Pharmaceutical and Universal Pharmaceutical.
The 14 companies asked to stop antibiotics production are Ad-din Pharmaceuticals, Alkad Pharmaceuticals, Belsen Pharmaceuticals, Bengal Drugs and Chemicals, Bristol Pharma, Crystal Pharmaceuticals, Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals, Millat Pharmaceuticals, MST Pharma and Healthcare, Orbit Pharmaceuticals, Pharmic Laboratories, Phoenix Chemical Laboratory, Rasa Pharmaceuticals and Save Pharmaceuticals.