Mahfuz Emran: The prices of almost all types of medicines have increased by 20 to 75 percent in the last six months. The prices of everything especially paracetamol group have been increased manifold. This medicine is so popular that sometimes it is not even found in the market.
Tara Bibi (70) from TutparaGhoshervita area of Khulna city has been suffering from kidney and liver diseases for several years. Every month he has to buy medicines worth Taka five to six thousand. The family of five survives on the income of the only earning son, egg seller Rafiqul Islam.
Rafiqul is struggling to manage his family due to the increase in the price of medicines. He fell into debt for the education of his two children and to buy his mother’s medicine. He has to work harder to repay the debt.
Not only Rafiqul, Jahanara Begum of that area is in the same situation. He needs more than Tk 8,000 of medicine every month. He is also in trouble due to the increase in the price of life-saving medicines. Even if he does not buy rice and clothes, he has to buy medicine regularly.
In addition to the increase in the price of daily commodities, the price of medicines has become a sore spot. After the companies increased the prices, dishonest traders are also grabbing extra money on the pretext of supply shortage. However, even if the price of medicine increases, the traders do not want to open their mouths. Before asking anything about the increased price, he says, “Brother, don’t ask anything about this.”
A retail trader in Mylapota area of the city, on condition of anonymity, said that even if the prices have increased, there is nothing for the patients to do. Medicines must be taken to survive.
This businessman expressed his anger and said that even if the price of vegetables increases in the market, the buyer does not want to accept it. But no one protests when the price of medicine increases.
He said, vegetable sellers can earn Tk 100 on one type of vegetable throughout the day. But even if the drug companies are playing with people’s lives, it doesn’t go unnoticed. If they earn just one rupee on a tablet, they can withdraw thousands of crores of taka a day from the market. But since the amount of money is one taka, no one can guess it easily.
The seller said that the prices of almost all types of drugs including Napa tablets, Ace Plus tablets, Napa syrup, pressure medicine, cough syrup, Ursaline, antibiotics have increased in the market. A few days ago, Napa tablet was bought for Tk 8 per sheet, but now it has to be bought for Tk 12; Napa syrup was Tk 20, increased to Tk 35; Ursaline price increased by Tk 6; Tofen syrup from Tk 60 to Tk 75; The price of any blood pressure medicine has been increased from Tk 15 to Tk 20 per leaf.
The price of sleeping tablets has been increased by Tk 2 each, pain reliever Memo tablets have been increased by Tk 3. Besides, the price of any type of antibiotic has been increased from five to Tk 15 each.
Several traders of the Heraj market in the city complained that the wholesalers have increased the prices that the companies have increased.
It is alleged that pharmacy owners are charging high prices in the absence of any supervision to regulate the drug market. In addition to high prices, there are also counterfeit drugs. The anarchy surrounding the drug market is unstoppable. In this situation, many patients are returning empty-handed from the front of the pharmacy after failing to provide money. Some buy a little medicine but are forced to give up the rest.
Shyamal Mitra of Bandurgacha of Dumuriaupazila, who came to buy medicine at Khulna’s Heraj Market, said that his mother Savitri Mitra (78) has been bedridden for a long time due to various diseases. He has to buy medicines worth Tk 7 to 8 thousand every month. He comes to Khulna’s Heraj Market to buy these medicines every week. On Saturday (February 25) I came to buy medicine and had to face the problem. He has to take five days of medicine instead of a week due to a sudden increase in the price of some medicines. He also said that an inhaler refill has increased by Tk 20.
Abu Hasan (63) of Iqbal Nagar area of the city said that he underwent open heart surgery. Due to age, many diseases have settled in the body. Some medicines have to be taken regularly. Now he takes half of the medicine he needs because of the price hike. This is causing problems again. But there is nothing to do.
Talked about this with the Assistant Director of the District Drug Supervisor Office, Rahmat Ullah. Although he is assistant director of Jessore, he also works in Khulna on deputation. He said, if the price of medicine increases, the Department of Medicine Administration can take action in that regard. Because the price is increased from the company. It is the responsibility of the head office to see that. We can only do what we are commanded to do.
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