Govt blacklists Tapentadol painkiller
The government has declared Tapentadol as narcotic substances and ordered a halt to the production of painkiller pharma drug which is available over the counter in Bangladesh.
The authorities have labelled the drug, an opiate analgesics, as 'Category 2' psychotropic substance under Section 65 of the Narcotics Control Act as it is an alternative means of narcotic substances to addicts.
The classification of the drug as narcotic substances was proposed by the Department of Narcotic Control and recommended by the Directorate General of Drug Administration and
Pharmacy Department of Dhaka University, according to a gazette notification issued on July 8.
The government can regulate certain sections of the Narcotics Control Act like categorisation of pharma drugs as narcotic substances following the instructions of Section 65.
Drugs are classified time to time under the categories 'Ka', 'Kha' and 'Ga' of Narcotics Control Act based on their types and uses.
In Bangladesh, Globe Pharmaceuticals Ltd produces Tapentadol pills as 'Tapexia', Opsonin Pharma Ltd as 'Tapendol' and Square Pharmaceuticals as 'Pantadol'. The drug is sold at Tk 12 to Tk 17 apiece in local stores.
Several media reports on the abuse of this opioid drug as narcotic substances have been published over the last two or three years as it is cheap and available to buy at local shops.
The companies have been ordered to shut the drug's production across the country. Several companies have already suspended production, an official of the narcotics control agency said.