BHB Newsletter

Spotting unlicensed private retail medicine outlets in eight divisional city corporations

Having a valid DGDA drug license is mandatory to operate any private retail medicine outlet in Bangladesh. However, thousands of outlets are estimated to be doing business without a valid license. To get a better view of the situation, between November ২০২১ and February, 2022, a BHB team of 18 began visited 8 divisional city corporations to spot unlicensed outlets. Out of 31,252 retail medicine outlets visited, 13,495 (43.2%) do not have a drug license.

Distribution of unlicensed retail medicine outlets by city corporation

City corporation Outlets visited Unlicensed outlets %
Chattogram 4,657 2,276 48.8
Sylhet 1,388 230 16.6
Mymensingh 1,149 410 35.7
Khulna 1,786 733 41.0
Rajshahi 1,210 794 65.6
Dhaka 18,774 7,949 42.3
Barishal 894 362 40.5
Rangpur 1,394 741 53.2
Total 31,252 13,495 43.2

Of the 13,495 unlicensed retail medicine outlets—

  • 95% of owners are male
  • 89% do not have a dispenser with a formal medicine dispensing degree or license
  • 9% have either a Grade C (10.6%); B (0.2%); or A pharmacy technician (0.1%)
  • 70% have an internet connection and at least one device, such as a smart phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet
  • 4% have adequate floor space as required by the DGDA (≥120 sq. ft)

BHB will share the list of the unlicensed retail medicine outlets and their characteristics with DGDA for subsequent action.

It may be mentioned here that the activities of BHB are implemented with cooperation of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK government.