Pharmaceutical export thrives thanks to Covid drugs

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Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Shipments Increased 25% YoY to $ 169 Million in Last Fiscal Year Thanks to Addition of Anti-Coronavirus Drugs to Export Basket, Continuous Quality Improvement and political support.

Drugs worth $ 136 million were exported in fiscal year 2019-20, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

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Bangladesh mainly exports drugs related to malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, leprosy, antihepatic, penicillin, streptomycin, kidney dialysis, homeopathy, biochemistry, Ayurveda and hydrocele.

Anti-coronavirus drugs were added to the basket over the past fiscal year, giving industry shipments a head start.

“Our pharmaceutical industry has shown its ability by instantly manufacturing the generic version of the anti-coronavirus drugs. This has helped boost the export of pharmaceuticals, ”said Monjurul Alam, director of global affairs at Beacon Pharmaceuticals.

The shipment of antiviral drugs Remdesivir and Favipiravir, which are used to treat coronavirus patients, boosted export growth in fiscal year 21. According to Alam, around Tk 400 crore of anti-coronavirus drugs was released. exported during the last fiscal year.

During the pandemic, the Bangladeshi companies that manufacture the drugs supplied the drugs for treating patients at home and abroad. The government’s bold move to approve them has been a boon to the pharmaceutical industry, senior officials from a number of companies have said.

“Bangladeshi companies were able to enter highly regulated markets in three months when it would have taken them at least two years in normal times,” Alam said.

Ministries of health in a number of countries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America have imported generic versions of Remdesivir and Favipiravir from Bangladesh.

The country also benefited from an Indian ban on the export of Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients in April after a record spike in Covid-19 cases boosted demand.

Mohammad Mujahidul Islam, director of marketing and sales at Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, said the pharmaceutical industry has done everything possible to ensure a steady supply of all drugs, including a few key drugs, to fight the deadly virus in Bangladesh .

Despite the unprecedented challenges, the industry has also managed to continue to export, Islam said.

“I think this was reflected in the country’s pharmaceutical export performance in FY20-21. From Eskayef, we have supported thousands of Covid-19 patients in 43 countries with our injection of Remdesivir Remivir. “

All of these efforts have raised the image of Bangladesh and shown the capabilities of the local pharmaceutical industry, he noted.

Mr Ziauddin, deputy general manager of marketing at Acme Laboratories, said local companies were working hard to keep production running, taking all protective measures.

“It has helped the sector to increase exports.”

Initially, manufacturers had faced challenges in managing the supply chain due to the pandemic. Later, they were able to ensure the smooth running of the production and export of medicines, thanks to the support of the government, he said.

Local players dominate the country’s pharmaceutical industry.

Square Pharmaceuticals is the main player with an 18.8 percent share, followed by Incepta at 10.2 percent, Beximco 8.5 percent, Opsonin 5.6 percent, Renata 5.1 percent and Eskayef 4, 5 percent, according to the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries. .

Local manufacturers export drugs to 144 countries and meet 97% of domestic demand.

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