DHAKA, Bangladesh - On Monday, the Cabinet approved the draft of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 2023, which prohibits the sale of antibiotics without a prescription from a registered doctor.
The approval came during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's weekly Cabinet meeting at her office.
"According to the proposed law, antibiotic drugs cannot be sold without the prescription of any registered doctor, and it will be a punishable offense," Cabinet Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain told reporters after the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
He stated that if the antibiotic drug is sold without a prescription, the shopper will face a Tk 20,000 fine.
According to the cabinet secretary, the proposed law includes provisions for monitoring and controlling antibiotic use, as prevention of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a significant challenge.
The proposed law cites 30 types of offenses, with the maximum punishment being life imprisonment for several crimes, such as producing fake and adulterated drugs and creating an artificial drug crisis, he said.
He said some new issues, such as drug development, vaccines, and medical devices, were incorporated into the draft law, adding that in the case of drugs, WHO guidelines would have to be followed.