The supply of Albendazole tablets, a worm killer, to several community clinics of Sadar Upazila of Nilphamari district, only two weeks before their date of expiry despite strong objection from community healthcare providers (CHCP) shows the gross negligence of the authorities. A large portion of the medicine now lies in the stock with lost potency as the CHCPs were unable to distribute the pills among patients within such a short period of time. It cannot be lost on the district civil surgeon, from whose store these medicines were supplied, that if consumed these can be a threat to the health.
Regrettably, selling and distribution of substandard, counterfeit and date expired medicines is not uncommon in the country. In the recent years, newspapers have been awash with reports of fake medicine factories in different parts of the country. According to news reports, an avalanche of date-expired anti-TB drugs hit the market earlier this year.
This is, at its core, a case of poor management, lack of regulation and enforcement of laws. There is no reason why spurious medicines should be supplied to clinics and hospitals when the pharmaceutical industry produces enough medicines to meet 97 percent of the domestic demand and many companies have even earned respect at the global stage for the quality of their pharmaceuticals.
The issue concerns public health and safety and needs to be addressed immediately. The Directorate General of Drug Administration, should launch an enquiry to identify those responsible for the distribution of date-expired medicines in Nilphamari and award them due punishment as per law.