Research Paper

Governance of the Directorate of Drug Administration: Challenges and Way forward

Chapter: Bangladesh | Year: 2019

Chapter details

About the chapter:

Transparency International Bangladesh (TI-B) is an independent, non-government, non-partisan and non-profit organization with a vision of a Bangladesh in which government, politics, businesses, civil society and the daily lives of its citizens are free from corruption.

CPI Score: 26

CPI Rank: 149

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National Partners:
Hospital Health Management Committees Ministry of Health NGO or Civil Society Organisation

Theory of Change

Policy & Insititutional Change
Improved enforcement of policies Better Institutional Processes
Change Type:



The study assessed the effectiveness of the Government Drug Administration in tackling corruption.

The study follows recent measures by the Government to strengthen the capacities of the Drug Administration. These include increasing the workforce in field offices, investing in capacity building, and enhancing the central drug laboratory. Moreover, the Government Drug Administration has taken measures to implement directives given by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health. The directives are aimed at strengthening the Drug Administration's operations to prevent the proliferation of sub-standard and falsified medicines, creating an Ethics Committee following the National Integrity Strategy 2013, and setting up an Innovation Team to enhance its client service delivery.


This is a qualitative study that was conducted between March 2014 and January 2015.

The methods applied to collect information from primary sources include key informant interviews, focus group discussions, case studies and observations. TI Bangladesh interviewed current and former officials of the Drug Administration from central and local offices, members of different committees associated with the Drug Administration, owners and officials of different companies, proprietors of retail drug stores, police officials, medical practitioners, and research experts on medicines.

TI Bangladesh also reviewed secondary sources, such as existing laws and rules, official documents, websites, research reports, and articles and news published in different newspapers.


  1. The institutional capacity of the Drug Administration is inadequate considering the scope, territorial reach and expansion of the drug market. There are institutional limitations in terms of human resources, infrastructure, logistics, and skillsets.
  2. The legal structure is insufficient for thoroughly monitoring the drug market and addressing contemporary challenges.
  3. The Drug Administration has not properly implemented all laws and full transparency and accountability in their operations is lacking.
  4. Lack of political will in strengthening the capacity of the Drug Administration is evident.


  1. The pharmaceutical companies producing sub-standard and falsified medicines should be identified and legal action should be taken against them.
  2. The Drug Administration should avoid over-representation of owners of pharmaceutical companies in different drug-related committees (especially the drug control committee, the manufacturing license committee, the drug-pricing committee, and the block list approval committee).
  3. There should be at least one drug inspector in each district office considering the size of the market and the workload of the role.
  4. Drug administration infrastructure should be set up in every district, and the Government Drug Administration should ensure logistical support and transport facilities for each inspection.

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