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Dhaka Tribune

ICDDRB to get interim permission for rice-based saline

Update : 26 Apr 2014, 07:31 PM

The ICDDRB is likely to get interim permission from the drug administration to manufacture its rice-based saline, but only for treating the patients who are admitted to the hospital, the Dhaka Tribune has learnt.

A senior-level official at the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) said the ICDDRB was likely to be granted the conditional permission after a DGDA team’s scheduled inspection of the saline manufacturing facility on Tuesday.

Seeking anonymity, the official added that the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB) would get interim permission for only six months, but would not be allowed to go for commercial production without acquiring a legal drug license.

Last week, the ICDDRB applied to the drug administration authority, seeking permission to resume the production of rice-based saline by the ICDDRB Employees’ Multipurpose Cooperative Society, which was halted earlier this month. The application also read that the rice-based saline would be manufactured only to meet the need of ICDDRB’s admitted patients.

When asked about the issue, Selim Barami, a director of the DGDA, acknowledged about receiving an official application from the ICDDRB, but refused to disclose details.

The Dhaka Tribune has learnt that the ICDDRB was planning to launch commercial manufacturing of its rice-based saline and was currently looking for a reputed drug company who were interested in starting a joint venture.

Meanwhile, the number of diarrhoea patients continues to increase at the ICDDRB, with 786 patients – the highest number of the year – receiving treatment at the Mohakhali facility on Thursday.

Dr Azharul Islam Khan, chief physician and head of diarrheal diseases unit of the ICDDRB Hospital, told the Dhaka Tribune that they were yet to face any problem in treating the patients as the saline of a private company was being used as an alternative.


When asked about the spike in patient numbers, he said the number was greater than last year, but not unusual. At least 60% of the patients were children, Dr Azharul said, adding that most patients were coming from the capital’s Badda, Jatrabari and Tejgaon areas.

He further advised everyone to drink fresh water and food for protecting themselves against diarrhoeal disease.

Sources said the ICDDRB needed a daily average of around 11-12 thousand litres of rice-based and oral saline to treat its patients.

Earlier, the production of ICDDRB’s saline was suspended indefinitely after recent mobile court drives found different fake saline factories in the capital, while there were claims that some ICDDRB staffs were involved in selling the rice-based saline outside the hospital. It was also alleged that the ICDDRB had no legal drug licence to manufacture the rice-based saline. 

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