Pharma firms count their blessings as exports rise

Pharma firms count their blessings as exports rise
Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry were able to grow it is exports found in the just-concluded fiscal time on the trunk of a reliable demand for medicines through the coronavirus-induced financial and health crises, that have decimated other key export sectors.

"Pharmaceutical products are crucial for all countries. This is why the industry's exports didn't decline amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Alternatively, it rose," explained Ananta Saha, international business supervisor of Renata.

Pharmaceutical shipments soared 4.49 % year-on-year to $136 million in fiscal 2019-20 following improvements in item quality and policy support.

The industry is probably the couple of sectors that ended the fiscal year in the black. National exports fell 16.93 %.

The sector fetched $130 million in export earnings in fiscal 2018-19 and $103.46 million in fiscal 2017-18.

Among the major makers and exporters, Renata ships goods to 27 countries and sells nutrition products in bulk quantity to the Unicef for distribution found in African countries.

"Although we were unable to approach our consumers personally, customers supported us by communicating on the internet to place unique orders," Saha said.

Renata achieved its export aim for for the just-concluded fiscal time.

The pandemic prompted medicine-makers to introduce digital marketing as a fresh avenue for sales. However, it is challenging to gauge future marketplace demand for pharmaceuticals since all fairs and seminars linked to the industry have already been put on carry or cancelled to avoid mass infections, Saha said.

Bangladesh is currently exporting medicines to numerous countries across several continents, including a couple of highly regulated markets found in europe and Australia, said Mohammad Mujahidul Islam, director for advertising and sales in Eskayef Bangladesh, another pharmaceuticals organization.

Numerous regulatory bodies -- europe Great Manufacturing Practice, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the united kingdom, the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia, the United Arab Emirates Good Manufacturing Practice and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate of the united kingdom -- accepted Eskayef's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

"This simply reinforced the business's high standards for quality, safety and efficacy. For this reason, Eskayef's exports have raised," he said.

Although the country's export earnings from the sector are still comparatively insignificant, it has good potential in the global industry. The domestic pharmaceuticals marketplace is usually dominated by six key players.

Square Pharmaceuticals leads the pack with an 18.8 % market show, while Incepta comes in second with 10.2 per cent.

Beximco is found in the 3rd position with 8.5 % share, accompanied by Opsonin 5.6 %, Renata 5.1 % and Eskayef 4.5 %, info from the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries showed.

Sanofi and Novo Nordisk also have a notable presence in the segment for specialised products.

Bangladesh ships pharmaceutical items to 144 countries just after meeting 98 % demand of the developing domestic market.

"Foreign clients are constantly going to our factories to examine production quality and more often than not, they place orders before leaving," said Saha.

Monjurul Alam, director for global business expansion at Beacon Pharmaceuticals, said that the business exports its products to 141 countries, including some in the EU.

Demand has increased after Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry became capable of producing advanced medicine such as bio-similar prescription drugs, vaccines and oncology goods and various medical apparatuses.

Beacon ships oncology goods to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia and a few African countries, Alam said.

"However, export volumes remain low. So, we have to grab the regulated industry to increase shipment sizes," he added.

Alam estimates that the sector has a domestic market worth around Tk 22,000 crore.

In 2012, the local industry size stood at around Tk 9,390 crore. By 2017, it doubled to Tk 18,755 crore, regarding to a report of the IMS HEALTHCARE.

Prof Syed Modasser Ali, chairman of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council, said the pharmaceutical sector has huge prospect of exports as local companies are speedily adopting sophisticated technologies to make sure quality products.

"The export of Bangladeshi medicine would rise more if the commerce, finance, and foreign affairs ministries cooperate proactively to expand its occurrence in the global market," he said.

The economic or commercial councillors of Bangladesh embassies abroad should contribute in this regard, the former health adviser to the prime minister said.

Local medicine consumption is definitely increasing based on the country's monetary growth and growing knowing of treatments, he added.

With a compound annual growth level of 15.6 %, the sector is predicted to grow to $5.11 billion by 2023, according to LightCastle Partners.
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