Availability and price changes of potential medicines and equipment for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 among pharmacy and drug stores in Bangladesh; findings and implications

  • Mainul Haque Unit of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Defence Health, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (National Defence University of Malaysia), Kem Sungai Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Salequl Islam Department of Microbiology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh
  • Samiul Iqbal Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, BSMMU, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
  • Umme Laila Urmi Department of Microbiology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh
  • Zubair Mahmood Kamal Integrated Sleep Disorders Center (ISDC), McGuire VAMC / VCU Health, 513 Veterans Ave, Richmond, VA 23224, USA
  • Aminur Rahman Finance & Account Division, Grameen Euglena, Grameen Bank Complex, Mirpur - 2, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh
  • Mustafa Kamal Al-Manar Hospital Ltd., Modern Hospital Cumilla Ltd, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Monami Haque Human Resource Department, Square Toiletries Limited. Rupayan Center, 11th Floor, 72 Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
  • Iffat Jahan Department of Physiology, Eastern Medical College, Comilla, Bangladesh
  • Zakirul Islam Department of Pharmacology, Eastern Medical College, Comilla, Bangladesh
  • Mohammad Monir Hossain Department of Anatomy. Eastern Medical College, Comilla, Bangladesh
  • Munzur E Murshid WISH2Action Project, Handicap International, Chamrargola, Kurigram Sadar, Kurigram 5600, Bangladesh
  • Israel Sefah Ghana Health Service, Keta Municipal Hospital, Pharmacy Department, Keta-Dzelukope, Ghana, and University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice Department, Volta Region, Ghana
  • Amanj Kurdi Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0RE, United Kingdom and Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Brian Godman Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0RE, United Kingdom
Keywords: Bangladesh, Community pharmacists, LMICs, price rises, self-purchasing, shortages

Abstract

Objective: There are concerns with increased prices and drug shortages for pertinent medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent and treat COVID-19 enhanced by misinformation. Community pharmacists and drug stores play a significant role in disease management in Bangladesh due to high co-payments. Consequently, a need to review prices and availability in the pandemic.

Materials and Methods: Multiple approach involving a review and questionnaire among pharmacies and stores early March to end May 2020.

Results and Discussion: 170 pharmacies and drug stores took part, giving a response rate of 63.9%. Encouragingly, no change in utilization of antimalarial medicines in 51.2% of stores despite global endorsements. However, increased utilisation of antibiotics (70.6%), analgesics (97.6%), vitamins (90.6%) and PPE (over 95%). Encouragingly, increases in purchasing of PPE. No increase in prices among 50% of the stores for antimalarials, with a similar situation for antibiotics (65.3%), analgesics (54.7%), and vitamins (51.8%). However, price increases typically for PPE (over 90% of stores). Shortages also seen for medicines and PPE, again greater for PPE.

Conclusions: The pandemic has impacted on the supply and prices of medicines and PPE in Bangladesh. Key stakeholder groups can play a role addressing misinformation, with enhanced local production helping address future shortages and prices.

Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science Vol.19(0) 2020 p. S 36-S 50

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Abstract
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Published
2020-07-10
How to Cite
Haque, M., Islam, S., Iqbal, S., Urmi, U., Kamal, Z., Rahman, A., Kamal, M., Haque, M., Jahan, I., Islam, Z., Hossain, M. M., Murshid, M., Sefah, I., Kurdi, A., & Godman, B. (2020). Availability and price changes of potential medicines and equipment for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 among pharmacy and drug stores in Bangladesh; findings and implications. Bangladesh Journal of Medical Science, 19, S 36-S 50. https://doi.org/10.3329/bjms.v19i0.48106
Section
Original Articles