Top health officials may face contempt of court charges over Indo-Bangla antibiotics

Top health and consumer rights officials in Bangladesh will have to explain their failure to act against Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals that continued production and distribution of antibiotics in breach of a High Court order.

Published : 11 August 2021, 01:42 PM
Updated : 11 August 2021, 01:42 PM

The court on Wednesday asked five people, including the heath secretary, why they will not face contempt of court charges. They were given four weeks to respond.

The other respondents to the rule are the director general or DG of the Directorate General of Drug Administration, the DG of the Directorate General of Health Services, the DG at the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, and AFM Anwarul Haque, managing director of Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals.

After hearing a writ petition by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh or HRPB, the High Court in 2017 ordered a ban on the operations of 20 pharmaceutical companies altogether, and the production and distribution of antibiotics by 14 other firms for violating the Good Manufacturing Practice guidelines set by the World Health Organization.

Indo-Bangla Pharmaceuticals, a Barishal-based firm, was among the 14 that were banned from producing antibiotics. The HRPB moved the court again following a recent report that the company was secretly continuing production and distribution.

The DGDA and others did not take any step although Indo-Bangla continued the production in violation of the High Court order, said Manzill Murshid, the lawyer for the petitioner.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher