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Pharmacies to lose licenses if sell antibiotics without prescriptions: Health Minister

No pharmacies will be allowed to sell antibiotics without prescriptions of registered physicians and if they do so, their licenses will be revoked, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday.

“The government is going to enact a new law to prevent misuse of antibiotics and if any pharmacy is found involved in selling antibiotics without prescriptions, its licenses will be revoked,” he said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat.

Terming antibiotics a silent killer, he said every year, 1.5 million people die in the world due to wrong applications of antibiotics. Bangladesh is also witnessing growing number of deaths due to wrong uses of antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics without prescription of physician has created negative impacts on public health, said the minister. “Antibiotics are not sold anywhere in the world without the prescriptions of registered physicians. But, antibiotics are being sold everywhere in Bangladesh without the prescriptions of physicians.”

The Health Minister also said the presence of antibiotics is being found in fish and meat as well which is also a matter of great concern.

“We must have to check indiscriminate uses of antibiotics. Otherwise, it will be another silent pandemic for us,” he said.

He also stressed the need creating public awareness about the excessive use of antibiotics.

Referring to the Covid-19 vaccines, the Health Minister said many people received vaccines in the last four days. “As a result, we have been able to fulfill some 98 per cent of our target. Those who have not received vaccine yet, they will be given vaccine over the next three days. After that they might not get vaccine anymore.”

Health Services Division’s Secretary Dr Md Anwar Hossain Howlader, Health Education Division’s Secretary Saiful Islam Badal, Director General of Health Services ABM Khurshid Alam, senior officials from other ministries were present.