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Pharma sales rise 20% in Bangladesh domestic market

Publication Date : 21-05-2012


Pharmaceutical sales in the domestic market rose 20 per cent to 2,293 crore taka (US$280.23 million) in the three months through March, compared to the same period last year.

Increased life expectancy, increased medical coverage of population, private healthcare services, people's growing income and wellness drugs are the drivers of the industry's growth, analysts said.

The industry has recorded double-digit growth over the last one decade, the analysts said.

The pharmaceutical sector is technologically the most developed manufacturing industry in Bangladesh and the third largest industry in terms of contribution to the government's revenue, Brac-EPL Stock Brokerage Ltd said in an analysis.

The sector recorded 8,788 crore taka ($1.07 billion) in sales turnover in the 12 months through March, according to the Intercontinental Marketing Services (IMS), a market research company that provides data on markets, especially on the healthcare industry.

At present, the pharmaceutical industry meets 97 per cent of the local demand and exports drugs to more than 87 countries, according to the analysis.

The sector grew 23.6 per cent in terms of sales in 2011, according to the IMS report.

Healthcare expenditure is estimated to reach 5 per cent of GDP in the next five years and the domestic market is poised to grow over 15 per cent annually in the same period, Brac EPL predicted.

However, the sector is facing difficulties in doing business in Bangladesh due to infrastructure problems and gas and power crises, said Abdul Muktadir, managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals.

The growth of the pharmaceutical industry fell short of expectations as most companies failed to run new factories due to the power crunch, said Muktadir, also the general secretary of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries.

The pharma sector will be able to take annual exports to Tk 8,000 crore ($977.67 million) in the next seven years if the government helps develop infrastructure and solve the power crisis, he said.

The government undertook a project -- Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Project -- to help domestic firms produce raw drug materials, said Muktadir.

The project will start working in two years, he said, adding that domestic firms will then be able to export raw materials, he said.


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