Pharma corporations count their blessings as exports rise

11 Aug 2020 1:20 PM
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Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry were able to grow it has the exports found in the just-concluded fiscal 12 months on the trunk of a reliable demand for medicines through the coronavirus-induced economic and health crises, that have decimated other major export sectors.

"Pharmaceutical products are essential for all countries. This is why the industry's exports didn't decline amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Rather, 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 handful of sectors that ended the fiscal year in the black. National exports fell 16.93 per cent.

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 items to 27 countries and sells nutrition products found in bulk quantity to the Unicef for distribution found in African countries.

"Although we were not able to approach our clients personally, clients supported us by communicating on the internet to place clean orders," Saha said.

Renata achieved it has the export concentrate on for the just-concluded fiscal season.

The pandemic prompted medicine-manufacturers to introduce digital advertising as a new avenue for sales. On the other hand, it is difficult to gauge future industry demand for pharmaceuticals since all fairs and seminars linked to the industry have already been put on maintain or cancelled to prevent mass attacks, Saha said.

Bangladesh is currently exporting medicines to numerous countries across four 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 enterprise.

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 Very 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 top quality, safety and efficacy. That is why, Eskayef's exports have increased," he said.

Although the country's export earnings from the sector remain comparatively insignificant, it has good potential in the global market. The domestic pharmaceuticals marketplace is definitely dominated by six important players.

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

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

Sanofi and Novo Nordisk likewise have a notable presence in the segment for specialised goods.

Bangladesh ships pharmaceutical goods to 144 countries following meeting 98 per cent demand of the developing domestic market.

"Foreign buyers happen to be constantly going to our factories to examine production quality and generally, they place orders before leaving," said Saha.

Monjurul Alam, director for global business development 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 sector became with the capacity of producing advanced drugs such as bio-very similar medicines, vaccines and oncology goods together with 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 improve shipment sizes," he added.

Alam estimates that the sector includes a domestic market benefit around Tk 22,000 crore.

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

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

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

The monetary 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 normally increasing based on the country's financial growth and growing knowing of treatments, he added.

With a compound gross annual growth fee of 15.6 per cent, the sector is predicted to grow to $5.11 billion by 2023, according to LightCastle Partners.