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Half of medical expenses go to drugs

by Afonso
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Some clothes, bowls in plastic bags. And with a blanket. Asir Uddin came from Tangail to the National Cancer Research Institute of the capital to treat his wife suffering from breast cancer. 8 to 10 thousand per month from daily wages. More than half end up buying the wife’s medicine.

Asir Uddin said, apart from family expenses, most of the money is spent on medicines. I can’t afford this cost. This increases my debt.

Renu Begum of Sherpur has lung cancer. Daughter Ruby Akhter buys her mother’s medicine by working in other’s house. Noor Alam of Feni takes 10,000 to 15,000 rupees a month for medicines. He is suffering from colon cancer. Noor said, people have to go door to door for medicine money.

This is the story of thousands of patients in the country. Patients are struggling to buy medicines for the treatment of various complex diseases including cancer, kidney, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to a study by the government’s Health Economics Unit, drugs account for half of the country’s medical expenses for patients, not operations or hospital fees. And only 7 percent of the total medicines are provided free of charge. Patients have to buy the rest with their own money. Experts have urged citizen awareness to increase free supply of emergency medicines to reduce costs.

According to the Health Economics Unit, the average annual expenditure on medicines is around Rs 35,000 crore. Only six percent is available free from government hospitals.

Dr. Focal Point of Health Economics Unit. Subrata Pal said, if people are spending more on certain drugs and include them in the government’s list of free drugs, the cost of drugs will come down. If the government enters into an agreement with the drug company, it is possible to give 4 rupees medicine for 2 rupees if the company’s MRs, promotional cost, part of the pharmacy’s profit are excluded.

Many people buy medicine from the shop and take it for minor ailments. Many doctors are also accused of prescribing unnecessary drugs.

Additional Director General of the Department of Health Professor Ahmadul Kabir said that not selling drugs without prescription and auditing prescriptions will reduce the sale of unnecessary drugs and reduce drug resistance. It will also reduce economic loss.

According to data from the Health Economics Unit, drug costs in Bangladesh are higher than in many countries in South Asia.


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