The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Rajik Al Jalil passed the order with a rule after the first hearing of a public interest petition on Thursday.
The rule asked why the sale of antibiotics without proper supervision and prescription should not be declared illegal.
The health secretary, director general of health services, public administration secretary, civil surgeons and deputy commissioners at all districts of the country have been ordered to respond to the rule.
“Antibiotics will not be sold in Bangladesh without a prescription after this order,” Lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque Sumon told reporters after the hearing.
“The antibiotics which are supposed to be taken by humans are being used as poultry feed. This is indirectly creating resistance in the body to antibiotics.”
“Last year, 900 patients were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of BSMMUH. Of them, 400 died due to resistance to antibiotics. What else do we need? The coming generation can be saved now if the civil surgeons and deputy commissioners take action.”
Antimicrobial resistant superbugs could be responsible for up to 80 per cent of deaths in Bangladesh's biggest intensive care unit (ICU), according to a report titled ‘Superbugs linked to eight out of 10 deaths in Bangladeshi ICUs’ published by the Telegraph on Apr 22 this year.
Quoting Professor Sayedur Rahman, chairman of the department of pharmacology at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medial University or BSMMU, the report said, “Out of approximately 900 patients admitted to the unit in 2018, 400 died.”
“And out of those deaths around 80 per cent were attributed to a bacterial or fungal infection that was resistant to antibiotics,” he said.
Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are seen as drivers of antimicrobial resistance because of poor adherence to antibiotic treatment, the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics for growth promotion in farm animals, self-medication and illegal over-the-counter access to antibiotics, said the report.
"There should be more security... they [antibiotics] should not be available over the counter and others should only be dispensed from hospitals," said Dr Rahman.
A study in Chattogram, the second-largest city in Bangladesh, found that over half of poultry chickens were infected with multi-drug resistant bacteria. However, the emergence of antimicrobial superbugs is not just a problem for South Asia and can be seen across the world, said The Telegraph.