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Dhaka Tribune

Prices of over 200 drugs climb in less than a month

Update : 22 Nov 2013, 09:13 PM

The prices of the most common and essential drugs have experienced a sudden spike across the country, with pharmaceutical companies reportedly hiking the prices of more than 200 types of drug by 40-60% over the last month.

These drugs are used by thousands to treat common diseases such as fever, cold, cough, headache, stomach pain, high blood pressure, diabetes and skin problems.

Sources said neither the pharmaceuticals nor the Directorate General of Drug Administration had served any notice prior to the hike.

Monir Hossain, assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Chemist and Druggist Samity, confirmed that pharmaceutical companies had made the increase recently and it had caused retailers a lot of trouble. “Most customers are getting angry and quarrelling with drug sellers after hearing about the sudden increase.”

Seeking anonymity, several officials of the Drug Administration, said the DA had control over only 117 out of 22,000 types of drug produced by more than 250 companies. They alleged that the health ministry was not interested in controlling increase in drug prices.

Checking with different drug stores in the capital, it was found that the price of commonly used antibiotics of Azithromycin group from all reputed companies increased by Tk5 per tablet from its previous price of Tk30. The price of Ciprofloxacin 500mg also increased by Tk1 to Tk3 while that of diabetic drug of Gliclazide group increased by Tk10 per strip from Tk60.

The price of drugs of Losartan Potassium group used to treat high blood pressure climbed from Tk60 to Tk80 per strip while that of Amlodipine+Atenolol group increased from Tk40 to Tk60 per strip. The price of pain management Aceclofenac drug has gone up by Tk10 and now stands at Tk40. The prices of different types of saline have also climbed up by Tk30-40.

Arif Ahmed, owner of Tahsin Pharmacy near the Border Guard Bangladesh third gate, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were facing problems for the sudden price hike by the companies and that customers were now blaming the pharmacists for putting up “fake” price stickers on medicine packets.

Manik Sarder, owner of a confectionary shop at Nilkhet, said the price of the drug he uses for migraine was Tk3 per strip but it has been increased to Tk15 now.

When asked, Golam Kibria, one of the directors at the DA, said the allegation of mass price hike of drugs was not correct at all. It was a common practice by the pharmaceutical companies to increase or decrease drug prices, he added.

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