Author Topic: Indigenous resource usage in the pharmaceuticals industry in Bangladesh  (Read 1765 times)

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Author : Md. Nazmul Huda, S M Mazharul Islam, Anzir Mahmud, Md. Ariful Islam Russell
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Volume 2, Issue 6, June-2011
ISSN 2229-5518
Download Full Paper : PDF

Abstract— Whether there is any framework or not, sometimes businesses grow and run into an economy. After a matured stage, the community starts developing the industry for their own good. Bangladesh has a very competitive market inside and also outside from its own pharmaceuticals industry, even where multinational organizations are facing many challenges to compete with local organizations. But in this matured stage how much indigenous technology they could reveal out from the system. Students are getting out from universities, but they’re not learning how to develop through research. They are becoming just operational workers. But through incubation and better investment, this situation can be improved. Besides this another threat is coming nearby to this industry. Patent rights valuation will make the local organizations weaker just because they are compounding the resources ignoring investments into molecule development. Several Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (APIs) are being produced here, but not in that large scale. To cope up with this situation government and DDA should come up some strategic plans to stand against future threats.
Index Terms— pharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals scopes, Bangladesh, indigenous resource, pharmaceutical resources, pharmaceutical export-import, research and innovation 

1   INTRODUCTION                                                                     
Industry can be defined as any type of Economic Activity producing goods or services. It is part of a chain – from raw materials to finished product, finished product to service sector, and service sector to research and development.
Pharmaceutical industry can broadly be classified into two categories. These are -a) Patent Medicines & b) Generic Medicines.
Patent medicines are developed in own laboratory with highly sophisticated equipment & researchers with dedication, learning. These products are patented for generally twenty years to enjoy the market share & also to act as a monopoly. After years of business functions the formulation, process, medicine or technology are sold in the market so that others can go into mass production with providing them adequate royalty. On the other hand Generic medicines are the products that are produced in mass scale with licensing. Several companies under different brand name market this same kind of product, where the formu-lation of this product is almost same with different commercial name. Prices of the products are under this category may vary. Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals companies mainly concentrate on this category, as labor & procession cost is one of the lowest in the world. [1]
2.1 Development of pharmaceuticals industry in Bangladesh
Pharmaceutical industry has grown in Bangladesh in the last two decades at a momentum rate. Its healthy growth supports development of auxiliary industries for producing glass bottles, plastic containers, aluminum collapsible tubes, aluminum PP caps, infusion sets, disposable syringes, and corrugated cartons. Some of these products are also being exported to other countries that generally have unregulated to medium regulated market. Printing and packaging industries and even the ad firms consider pharmaceutical industry as their major clients and a key driving force for their growth. The sector consistently creates job opportunities for highly qualified as well as lower skilled people. Many established entrepreneurs of today are now thinking about establishing own pharmaceutical division the latest one is APEX pharma. Bangladeshi companies are either directly or indirectly contributing largely towards raising the standard of healthcare services through enabling local healthcare personnel or facilities to gain access to newer products and to latest drug related information. Due to recent flashy development of this sector, Bangladesh is exporting medicines to global market including highly regulated Eu-ropean market. This sector is also providing 95% of the total medicine requirement & medical equipment of the local mar-ket. Leading Pharmaceutical Companies are expanding & enhancing their business with new product, process, technology & marketing techniques with the aim to expand export market. In Bangladesh Pharmaceutical sector is one of the most developed hi tech sector in this country which effectively lessening the brain drain problem that is contributing in the country's economy. After the promulgation of Drug Control Ordinance - 1982, the development of this sector was achieved. The professional knowledge, dedication, government policy support, knowledge about international market, thoughts and innova-tive ideas of the pharmacists working in this sector are the key factors for these impressive developments. Recently few new industries have been established with hi tech equipments producing facilities and professionals training which will enhance the strength of this sector further.
Bangladesh, currently having more than a couple of hun-dred manufacturing facilities, dedicated pharmacists with huge Potential in pharmaceutical formulations, is going to be economically self sufficient in this sector, which will ultimately develop their technological capacity. Aiming at minimizing the import dependency on basic drugs, the country's prime concern is about building up of own capability in the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients(APIs), base materials and other allied industry inputs.  Pharmaceutical sector is capturing near about 12% of market capitalization which is the second largest in the world & first among third world countries. This position also indicates the positive sign for foreign investment in pharmaceutical sector.
The combined capacity of the industry for the pharmaceutical formulation is huge and a number of companies recently have approval from UNICEF as its global as well as local supplier of pharmaceutical products. According to Salman F Rahman president, Bangladesh Aushad Shilpa Samity (Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries - BAPI), since 1972 the Association has been the only recognized association for pharmaceutical manufacturers in Bangladesh playing pivotal role in the development of pharmaceutical sector. BAPI, as the apex and premier pharmaceutical trade and promotion body of Bangladesh, has been very actively working on the industry development programs to enhance the existing capabilities and to promote the country's industrial opportunities among the developed world by attract prospective collaborators in terms of technology, product sourcing, infrastructure etc.
2.2 Localizing of the pharmaceuticals industry in Bangladesh
Following the Drug Control Ordinance of 1982, some of the local pharmaceutical companies improved range and quality of their products considerably. The national companies account for more than 95% of the pharmaceutical business in Bangladesh. However, among the top 20 companies of Bangladesh 2 are multinationals. Almost all the lifesaving imported products and new innovative molecules are channeled into and marketed in Bangladesh through these companies. Multinational and large national companies generally follow current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) including rigorous quality control of their products. The Drug Act of 1940 and its rules formed the basis of the country's drug legislation. unani, ayurvedic, homeopathic and bio-chemic medicines were exempted from control under the legislation. The foreign companies dominated the pharmaceutical industry at that time. Even in the allopathic market there were extemporaneous preparations dispensed from retail pharmacies. The pharmaceutical industry, however, like all other sectors in Bangladesh, was much neglected during Pakistan regime. Most multinational companies had their production facilities in West Pakistan. With the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971, the country inherited a poor base of pharmaceutical industry. For several years after liberation, the government could not increase budgetary allocations for the health sector. Millions of people had little access to essential lifesaving medicines. With the promulgation of the Drug Control Ordinance of 1982, many medicinal products considered harmful, useless or unnecessary were removed from the market allowing availability of essential drugs to increase at all levels of the healthcare system. Increased competition helped maintain prices of selected essential drugs at the minimum and affordable level.
In 1981, there were 166 licensed pharmaceutical manufac-turers in the country, but eight multinational companies (MNCs) which manufactured about 75% of the products dominated local production. There were 25 medium sized local companies, which manufactured 15% of the products, and other 133 small local companies produced the remaining 10%. All these companies were mainly engaged in formulation out of imported raw materials involving an expenditure of Tk 600 million in foreign exchange. In spite of having 166 local pharmaceutical production units, the country had to spend nearly Tk 300 million on importing finished medicinal products. A positive impact of the Drug (Control) Ordinance of 1982 was that the limited available foreign currency was exclusively utilized for import of pharmaceutical raw materials and finished drugs, which are not produced in the country. The value of locally produced medicines rose from Tk 1.1 billion in 1981 to Tk 16.9 -13824 in 1999. At present, 95% of the total demand of medicinal products is met by local production. Local companies (LCs) increased their share from 25% to 70% on total annual production between 1981 and 2000.
In 2000, there were 210 licensed allopathic drug-manufacturing units in the country, out of which only 173 were on active production; others were either closed down on their own or suspended by the licensing authority for drugs due to non-compliance to GMP or drug laws. They manufactured about 5,600 brands of medicines in different dosage forms. There were, however, 1,495 wholesale drug license holders and about 37,700 retail drug license holders in Bangladesh. Anti-infective is the largest therapeutic class of locally produced medicinal products, distantly followed by antacids and anti-ulcer ants.

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