Health Minister Zahid Maleque Thursday declined to disclose the price rates at which the government purchased Covid-19 vaccines.
"It will not be proper to disclose the expenditure in the house as the shots were purchased under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)," he told Jatiya Sangsad when a member of parliament asked the minister about vaccine purchase prices.
He said, "The doses were purchased from China, India, and Covax [a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to the vaccines] at the highest competitive rates, maintaining transparency and accountability. They were purchased with the approval of the law ministry, the finance division, the CCGP (Cabinet Committee on Government Purchases) and the prime minister."
However, the health minister did tell parliament that Bangladesh had purchased 21.17 crore shots.
In replying to another query on setting private practice fees for doctors, he said the government has taken initiative to enact a private practice act for physicians.
The minister said government authorities have also identified 12,592 drug stores without drug licenses. He said the stores are being identified and provided with licences, and that drug administration officials across the country are regularly visiting these stores.
Zahid Maleque said efforts are on to maintain the quality of drugs in the interest of public health and that the government is conducting regular drives against the production and marketing of counterfeit medicines.