The Bangladesh government has welcomed India's ban on over 300 combination drugs. Some of the combination drugs including Corex and Phensedyl, which have codeine as an ingredient, had reportedly triggered widespread substance abuse among the youth in Bangladesh.
"It is a most welcome move. Young people in our country were consuming these cough syrups to get intoxicated and prolonged consumption had a disastrous effect on their health," Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, Zokey Ahad, was quoted by bdnews24.com, a Bangladesh- based news agency, as saying.
He said the drug ban would significantly improve Indo-Bangladesh ties, because the authorities in Dhaka were unhappy over India's failure to stop production and smuggling of these cough syrups into Bangladesh.
Indian customs had suspected some consignments of Phensedyl were made "extra potent", so the Bangladesh factories diluted them and increase the production of the cough syrup.
Although the cough syrup is already banned in Bangladesh, addicts were on a constant lookout for Corex and Phensedyl bottles in the black market, according to the Times of India.
The high demand for addictive cough syrups was exploited by both the smugglers and pharma companies.
"In one raid Feb. 2, this year, the Border Security Force (BSF) seized 723 bottles of Phensedyl from Jalangi, Murshidabad, in West Bengal. It was a good business for both Indian and Bangladeshi smugglers. Hundreds of illegal bottling plants also cropped up near the border on the Indian side," a health ministry official was quoted by the TOI as saying.