POTENTIAL OF BANGLADESH PHARMA SECTOR
There are about 191 registered pharmaceutical companies currently operating in Bangladesh. The products
manufactured by these companies are meeting 97 percent
of the domestic requirement. Certain vaccines, anticancer
products, hematological products, biotech products are
Bangladesh pharmaceutical industry is dominated by the
local pharma companies and they hold 87 percent of the
market share. The domestic market is highly concentrated
and competitive and the top 15 companies hold about 77
percent of the market share.
The pharma companies are now entering into the highly
regulated markets like USA and Europe. Many pharma companies have invested huge amounts in developing their new
state of art manufacturing facilities. The primary focus of
the Bangladesh local manufacturers is on branded generic
final formulations using imported APIs.
About 85 percent of the drugs sold in Bangladesh are
generics and 15 percent are patented. Bangladesh manufactures about 450 generic drugs for 5300 registered brands
which have 8,300 different forms of dosages and strengths.
These include anti-ulcerants, anti-rheumatic non-steroid
drugs, non-narcotic analgesics, antihistamines, oral anti-di-abetic drugs, etc. Some big firms (Ex: Beacon Pharma) also
started to produce anti-cancer and anti-retroviral drugs.
APIS, RAW MATERIALS AND MACHINERY
Bangladesh API capacity is insignificant, pharmaceutical
companies import approximately 80 percent of their APIs.
Approximately 75-80 percent of the imported APIs are generic
and 20-25 percent is patented. Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical
manufacturing is not backward-integrated, hence most APIs
have to be imported, and even if the API is manufactured in
Bangladesh, the raw materials need to be imported.
This results in high production costs, especially in cases
where the provider of the API is a competitor in selling the
finished product. Building up backwards-integration for all
relevant APIs is not feasible due to the scale disadvantages
and infrastructure constraints in the early stages of the value
The machinery for manufacturing the pharma products
also need to be imported. The leading manufacturers import
most of their equipment from Europe or Japan, other manufacturers import machinery from China and India. This creates a cost disadvantage when compared with their competitors (Indian manufacturers) who can source the machinery
BANGLADESH PHARMA EXPORT
Bangladesh is exporting medicines to 87 countries including the U.S. and a few European nations and it has
already received global recognition from the UK, MHRA,
EMEA, TGA and GCC. A number of companies have already