The comment of the president of the Association of Pharmaceutical Industries would have been passed off as a pun were it not for the fact that it has to do with the health of the public. He wants us not to be worried that there are time-expired medicines in the pharmacies—that being, according to him, nothing unusual. His comments have been prompted by media reports including in this paper that 93 percent of drugstores in Dhaka kept expired medicines.
We find it very unusual that almost every pharmacy in the capital should have on its shelf date-expired medicines. It is only reasonable to think that if the drugstores maintained a lot register, and followed the usual practice of regular turnover of stocks, there would be no excuse to have out-of-date drugs on the shelf. And it is not beyond the pale of possibility that the unscrupulous among the drugstore owners would sell these medicines to the less careful or unaware buyers. What is even more worrying is the statement that only the top 20 drug producers collect expired medicines from the shops. What about the rest? If such a situation prevails in the capital, we wonder what the situation is in other places, particularly the outlying areas of the country.
The Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection deserves our thanks for carrying out this long overdue drive. We would hope that it will continue with its drive to ensure that such medicines are taken off the shelf immediately after their date has expired. If there is anything worse than going without medicine, it is having medicines which have gone out of date.