Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals Services (SIAPS) in Bangladesh: Findings from a baseline study of drug shops in the private sector, 2015

Overview
The purpose of this study was to provide comprehensive information about retail drug which would play an integral role in the successful designing of an accredited model of a drug shop in Bangladesh. This study was a facility-based (drug shop–based), cross-sectional study exploring the status, operation, and regulation of retail drug shops including dispensing practices and the availability, quality, and affordability of essential drugs. The perceptions of different stakeholders regarding the feasibility of an accredited drug shop programme in Bangladesh were also explored in the study. In addition, the possibility of facilitating the tuberculosis directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) programme through accredited retail drug shops in Bangladesh was examined. The study was conducted both in rural and urban settings. The study recommended some short and long term measures, emphasising that an ADDO approach to model retail drug shops such as those tested in Tanzania would be feasible in context of Bangladesh. This approach standardises the drug shop’s operation by staffing the shop with appropriately trained dispensers, strictly enforcing regulations, and by providing supportive supervision.

Partners/Donor: Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Bangladesh

Highlights

Dissemination of findings from SIAPS Bangladesh Study in “Stakeholder’s Workshop to Develop Model Pharmacies (Retail Shops) In Bangladesh, 20 September 2015” at Spectra Convention Centre
A workshop was organised on 20 September 2015 by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) in association with USAID and SIAPS, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Bangladesh to disseminate the findings of this study.The workshop was chaired by Director General, DGDA and co-chaired by Director, DGDA; Director, CoE-UHC; Country Director; MSH, Bangladesh and Principal Technical Advisor, MSH. Representatives from Pharmacy Council of Bangladesh (PCB), Bangladesh Chemist and Druggists Samity (BCDS), Superintendents of Drug/Drug Inspectors from district level, drug sellers from different districts, development partners, and representatives from University of Dhaka participated in the workshop.

The stakeholders discussed different aspects of the problems associated with the private retail drug shops such as ensuring the presence of a certified dispenser in the drug shop, revising and upgrading the current grade C certificate curriculum and teaching, licensing process, improving the capacity of DGDA to effectively supervise and regulate the market, and the requirements for a model drug shop. Based upon the findings and discussion, a number of short and long-term recommendations were put forward.