Globally, pharmaceutical misuse is increasing, particularly in developed countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia. However, a similar trend of prescription medicine misuse is occurring in South Asia and this is becoming a huge concern.
Pharmaceutical drug misuse refers to any use of pharmaceutical drugs that is inconsistent with the intended use or directions. (ref)
Bangladesh has a thriving pharmaceutical industry with a fairly large scale manufacturing capability that produces ‘medicines of addiction’ such as benzodiazepines. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is growing at an impressive annual growth rate of 9%. (ref)
The main pharmaceutical drugs of abuse in Bangladesh include: codeine-based cough syrups, diazepam, painkillers and buprenorphine.
Experts believe that the reasons behind the misuse of pharmaceuticals are: curiosity, lack of alternative social activities as well as the lack of awareness of their effects and associated risks.
The misuse of pharmaceutical drugs has become a grave issue, particularly in the rural parts of the country. One of the major challenges faced by the Government is the lack of supervision or verification around the unauthorized use of these pharmaceutical drugs.
More importantly, it is important to facilitate access for treatment of opioid dependency and ensuring that healthcare system is able to provide quality care and prevent further misuse of pharmaceutical drugs.
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