Unauthorised drugstores spring up in Netrakona

Drugstores without any authorisation from the authorities concerned are springing up in a large number in all the ten upazilas of the district.More than 2,500 drugstores have been set up in the upazilas without obtaining drug license.They are continuing brisk business depriving the government of huge revenue every year.It is learnt, the number of unlicenced pharmacies is increasing gradually in almost all the markets in the rural areas of the upazilas, pourasava and district headquarters.But the authorities responsible to monitor their operation have not yet taken any actions against the illegal and unlicenced pharmacies in the district.Besides, these unlicensed drugstores are selling sub-standard and expired medicines further endangering public health.Yet the authorities are seldom seen to take any legal actions against those for any of the offences.The owners of these unlicensed medicine shops are running their business by reportedly paying kickback ranging Tk100 to Tk500 on a monthly basis to the officials concerned.
On the other hand, owners of the authorised shops alleged that a section of dishonest and corrupt officials let the unlicensed medicine shops do business unhindered taking a lump sum as bribe from their owners, which encourages the illegal medicine traders to run their shops year after year not taking license from the authorities concerned.
Owners of the registered medicine shops demanded that actions be taken against the dishonest and corrupt officials for such malpractice without any further delay to ensure government revenue from drug business.Official sources said according to the rule, drug licenses are to be issued to the pharmacies or the medicine shops as per the precondition that salesmen of the shops must be trained.But most of the medicine shops are seen running their business by untrained salesmen and licences are issued to the shops ignoring the rule in connivance with some dishonest officials in return of kickback, it is widely alleged.Although the unethical practice continues throughout the district under the very nose of both drug administration and local health department, they do not take legal actions against the unlicensed medicine shops for reasons unknown. -UNB, Netrakona