Now SC regular bench halts production of 20 drug cos
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that directed the government to halt production of 20 pharmaceutical companies and producing antibiotics by 14 other drug companies for manufacturing substandard drugs.
The apex court also asked the HC to hear and dispose of the rule over legality of the government's inaction to stop cancelling licences of the 20 companies by August 18 this year.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after disposing of four petitions filed by four drug companies recently challenging the HC order passed following a writ petition.
Writ petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the 20 companies cannot manufacture medicines while 14 other companies cannot produce any antibiotics following the SC order.
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed the writ petition after an expert committee, formed by the parliamentary standing committee on the health ministry in August 2014, recommended revoking the licences of 20 drug companies that repeatedly failed to follow the good manufacturing practices (GMP).
The HC on June 7 directed the government to halt production of 20 companies within seven days.
The court also ordered closing production of antibiotics by 14 other companies within the same time, and issued a rule upon the authorities concerned to explain in four weeks why their inaction in cancelling licences of the 20 drug companies shouldn't be declared illegal.
The HC asked the health secretary and directors general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) and the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to submit a report to it within two weeks after complying with the orders.
The 20 drug companies are Aexim Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Avert Pharma Ltd, Bikolpo Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dolphin Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Drugland Ltd, Globe Laboratories (pvt) Ltd, Jalpha Laboratories Ltd, Kafma Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Medico Pharmaceuticals Ltd, National Drug Pharma Ltd, North Bengal Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Remo Chemicals Ltd (Pharma Division), Rid Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Skylab Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Spark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Star Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sunipun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Today Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Tropical Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Universal Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
The 14 companies which must stop manufacture of antibiotics are: Ad Din Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Alkad Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Belsen Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bengal Drugs Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bistol Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Crystal Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Indo Bangla Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Millat Pharmaceuticals Ltd, MST Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Orbit Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Pharmatik Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Phoenix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Rasa Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Save Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
On Monday, the chamber judge of SC sent two petitions of the drug companies seeking stay on the HC order to the regular bench, according to a UNB report.