The Future of the Bangladesh National Drug Policy. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 015 (1993)
(1993; 2 pages)


In June 1982, Bangladesh created a Drugs (Control) Ordinance to provide the legislative framework for a National Drug Policy (NDP). The main objectives of the NDP were to increase availability and accessibility of essential drugs, eliminate non-essential drugs from the market and encourage local manufacturing of drugs. Thus far the NDP has seen success in all three areas. The reported “largest achievement” has been a 50% increase in local production of drugs between 1981 and 1991. Additionally, prices have gone down and the quality of drugs has increased. The private sector has accused the NDP of causing an increase in drug smuggling, a decrease in foreign investment and the creation of too many restrictions, but these claims lack evidence. Compromises will likely be made in areas like price control and creating flexible arrangements with multinational companies. The rational use of medicines still needs to be improved; high use of traditional medicine, untrained dispensary workers and uneducated health workers are preventing the NDP from total success. Implementation needs to be the focus for Bangladesh. Recommendations include having regular reviews of the essential drugs list, monitoring drug regulation committees, improving drug testing laboratories and upgrading the capabilities of the Drug Administration. These policies can benefit both business and health interests in Bangladesh if implemented correctly.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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