HC orders Govt. to stop 20 drug manufacturing companies

HC orders Govt. to stop 20 drug manufacturing companies

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Dhaka-The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that ordered the government to stop the production of medicines by 20 drug manufacturing companies on charge of producing substandard medicines.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice SK Sinha passed the order after disposing of four separate appeals petitions filed by four companies — Universal Pharmaceutical Limited, MST Pharma, Ad-din Pharmaceuticals Ltd, and Cristal Pharma — seeking a stay on the HC order.
The apex court also directed the High Court to dispose the three rules issued by it in this regard by August 18.
Earlier on June 13, Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Mirza Hussain Haider also upheld the HC order and sent the four petitions to the regular bench of the apex court for hearing.
In an order, the HC had on June 7, ordered the government to halt in seven days the production of medicines by 20 drug manufacturing companies on charge of producing substandard medicines.
The HC also ordered the government to stop 14 other companies from manufacturing antibiotics within the same deadline. The health secretary and the chiefs of the Directorate General of Health Service and Directorate General of Drug Administration have been asked to inform the court by two weeks over the implementation of the order.
The 20 pharmaceuticals that must stop producing medicines are: Axim Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Avert Pharma Ltd, Bikalpo Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Dolphin Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Drugland Ltd, Globe Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd, Jalfa Laboratories Ltd of Sylhet, Kafma Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Medico Pharmaceuticals Ltd, National Drug Pharma Ltd, North Bengal Laboratories, Remo Chemicals (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 drug manufacturing companies, which were directed to stop all kinds of antibiotics production are: Ad Din Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Alkad Laboratories Ltd, Belsen Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Bengal Drugs & Chemicals (Pharma) Ltd, Bristol Pharma Ltd, Crystal Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Millat Pharmaceuticals Ltd, MST Pharma & Healthcare Ltd, Orbit Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Pharmik Laboratories Ltd, Phoenix Chemical Laboratory (pvt) Ltd, Rasa Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Save Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
The HC bench comprising Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice AKM Shahidul Huq came up with the order after hearing on a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain within four weeks why its inaction to cancel the licences of 20 pharmaceutical companies and stop antibiotics production of 14 others drug companies should not be declared illegal.
Health secretary, director general of health department, director general of drug administration, inspector general of police, director general of Rapid Action Battalion and general secretary of Bangladesh Drug Industry Association have been made respondents to reply to the rule within four weeks.
The HRPB filed the petition with the HC on Sunday saying that the licences of the 20 drug companies should be cancelled as they have failed to produce standard medicines. The right to life of citizens has been violated due to the manufacturing and marketing of substandard medicines, said Advocate Manzill Murshid, who appeared for the petitioner before the court.-STAFF REPORTER

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