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 Bangladesh in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of the people shall be 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 to tackle 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 expansion of substandard and falsified medicines, create an Ethics Committee as per the National Integrity Strategy 2013, and set up an Innovation Team to enhance its client service delivery.


This is a qualitative study, conducted between March 2014 - January 2015.

The methods applied to collect information from primary sources include key informant interviews, 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 experts and researchers 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 not adequate considering the scope, geographic coverage and expansion of drug market. There are institutional limitations in terms of human resources, infrastructure, logistics, and skills-set.
  2. The legal structure is not sufficiently strong for monitoring the drug market and addressing contemporary challenges.
  3. The Drug Administration has not properly implemented all laws and there is not full transparency and accountability in their operations.
  4. Lack of political will in strengthening the capacity of the Drug Administration is evident.


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

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