Pharmaceutical company sales representatives staged protests outside the Rajshahi Medical College Hospital on Monday to protest against the assault of three of their colleagues by Ansar members at the hospital on Sunday.
They also threatened to stop drug supply to Rajshahi and later the whole country unless the RMCH director publicly apologizes within 12 hours for tying three pharmaceutical reps to trees with sticks. strings around the waist.
On Sunday, Ansar members held down the three sales representatives as they captured photos of doctors’ prescriptions to patients outside the RMCH outpatient department and tied them to trees. Later, the three representatives were released on bail.
Around 100 trade commissioners under the banner of the Bangladesh Pharmaceuticals Representative Association staged a protest procession and then staged a rally outside the hospital at 10:00 a.m.
Addressing the rally, the chairman of the association’s central committee, Habibur Rahman, said national pharmaceutical companies supplied 98 percent of the country’s drug demand.
“The pharmaceutical sector has a Tk 25,000 crore market while generating huge revenue. But the director of RMCH insulted all pharmaceutical companies by tying three representatives with ropes around their waists,” he said.
Protesters also found themselves locked in a fight with Ansar members when they tried to enter the hospital with a protest motorcade.
Later, law enforcement brought them out from inside the hospital and brought the situation under control.
The director of the RMCH, Brigadier General Shameem Yazdany, said there was no question of an apology from him. “They (the representatives) will come and apologize because they made a mistake,” he said.
Shameem Yazdany said sales reps gave pads, notebooks or similar gifts to in-house doctors and pressured them to prescribe their companies’ drugs.
“Under the influence, some doctors prescribed drugs from these companies despite a government drug supply. It is difficult for poor patients to afford these expensive drugs,” he added.
The director of the hospital said representatives often visited the hospital to find out what drugs were being prescribed.
On Sunday they stood in such a position that there was no way for patients to get around them, he added.
In a response, Shameem Yazdany said he had asked Ansar members to catch and tie up the representatives of his anger.
‘One or two very enthusiastic Ansar members did just that. It wasn’t fair to do that,” he said.