Dhaka – With an aim to make the pharmaceutical industry of the country a multi-billion dollar industry, the 45th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) was held at a city hotel on Thursday.
Following the AGM, a program was held at the same venue where the ‘Vision 2033′ for pharmaceutical industry was discussed.
‘Vision 2033′ refers to Bangladesh and Least Developed Country’s (LDC) exemption from patents and data protection for pharmaceutical products until 2033.
That means,Bangladesh is allowed to produce and patented medicine without taking prior permission from innovator.
Presenting the key note paper on the occasion, Nazmul Hasan, President of BAPI said that Pharmaceutical industry must capitalize on this unique advantage given by the World Trade Organization.
Hasan, who is also the Managing Director of Beximco Pharma, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh said that the pharmaceuticals sector is the largest white color labor intensive sector in Bangladesh.
The total market size of pharmaceutical product in Bangladesh is $1.5 billion. “We are selling our medicine with the lowest possible price. So if compared with the price in the developed country’s market then the actual market size is $10 billion.”
He said that there are 257 registered companies here. “Interestingly, all the top 10 companies are local having 70% of market share.”
The president of BAPI informed that the domestic manufactures account for 97% of the drug sales in the local market, catering to a population of 160 million, while the remaining 3% is imported.
He said that, in a major development, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Square Pharmaceuticals and Beximco Pharmaceuticals, the two top companies in the country, after inspecting the oral solid dosage facilities of the two companies in Bangladesh last year.
“It has not only paved the way for the companies to export medicines to the US market, which is known for stringent regulations and quality standards, but it is a game-changer for the industry as a whole,” said Hasan.
Speaking on the occasion as the Chief Guest, Mohammad Nasim, Minister of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said the common people have a notion that the pharmaceuticals industry is making only profit, not doing any benifit for the common people.
“The truth is, the pharmaceutical company is providing medicine to the countries people with the lowest price. People need to know about it,” he said adding that like the garments industry, the country’s pharmaceutical sector has been one of the success stories of Bangladesh in the last three decades.
He however said that there are some sub-standard companies which taint the reputation of the whole sector. “From the organization, you should take measures against it.”
Sayed Manzurul Islam, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Major General Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman and SM Shafiuzzaman, Secretary General of the BAPI also spoke on the occasion. – Staff Reporteer