Rapid Action Battalion and the Directorate General of Drug Administration in a joint drive seized huge illegal, expired and sub-standard medicines from the Kakrail outlet of Lazz Pharma in Dhaka on Monday.
The RAB mobile court, led by executive magistrate Palash Kumar Basu, fined Tk 29 lakh to seven officials of Lazz Pharma for selling these illegal and expired medicines.
The magistrate said that they seized 76 types of illegal and expired medicines and injections worth about Tk 50 lakh.
Five officials of the drug store were fined Tk 5 lakh each in default to suffer imprisonment for three months and the 2 other officials were fined Tk 2 lakh each in default to suffer imprisonment for two months.
Few consumers, who were cheated by expired drugs, also helped the law enforcement agency members to find out spurious and expired drugs.
RAB-3 assistant police superintendent Farzana Haque said that the outlet of Lazz Pharma, one of the largest retail drug sellers in the country, was importing unauthorised medicines and often selling sub-standard drugs.
Lazz Pharma has 40 outlets in Dhaka and 10 in other districts.
Public health expert Lenin Chaudhury told New Age that marketing and selling of spurious and expired medicines were jeopardising the country’s health sector.
He further said that the Director General of Drug Administration should be more efficient in controlling the market of spurious and expired drugs.
Earlier, detectives and DGDA jointly raided different large drug stores in Uttara on Thursday and found that they were selling counterfeit medicines.
At least 18 were arrested at different drug stores while as detectives at first raided SB Corporation which was selling counterfeit drugs and detained some officials there.
Then, DB and DGDA jointly raided Lazz Pharma and Tamanna Pharmacy in Uttara from where they also seized huge fake medicines
When approached, Lazz Pharma general manager Anwar Hossain told New Age that they had some medicines which were imported as many consumers ask for those items with doctors’ prescriptions.
He, however, said that they never tried to sell expired medicines. He said that they would be more careful about selling medicines after such drives.
Detectives have earlier found that some medicines were originally manufactured in Uttara, Fakirarpool, Chawkbazar and Tongi and then were supplied to different drug stores, including Lazz Pharma, Al-Madina Pharma, Tamanna Pharmacy and Islamia Pharma, in Dhaka.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University pharmacology department chairman Sayedur Rahman told New Age that the drive had revealed the poor monitoring and serious lack of discipline in the medicine market.
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