Promoting “model medicine shops” in Bangladesh

More than 80% of people in Bangladesh seek care from untrained or poorly trained village doctors and drug shop retailers. Overprescribing, selling unnecessary and expensive brand drugs, and distributing antibiotics and steroids without prescriptions are common problems. At the same time, access to many medicines is low, and antimicrobial resistance is rising.

With support from the UK’s Department for International Development, and in collaboration with the Bangladesh Directorate General for Drug Administration, MSH helped to establish the country’s first-ever standards for retail drug outlets and implement an accreditation program to increase people’s access to safe, affordable, quality medicine, and to other pharmacy services such as patient counseling.

The standards address issues of storage, recordkeeping, and monitoring and pharmacists learn basic physiology, microbiology, first aid, communication skills, business ethics, counseling, and dispensing rules. The project has trained more than 5,000 pharmacists, with the goal of accrediting 5,000 “model” pharmacy and medicine shops by 2021. The program has also developed a commercial that’s airing on national T.V.