The country’s export earnings from the pharmaceutical sector have gone up significantly in recent years. This is because the country’s capacity has grown, and it now has access to new sales channels.
According to data from the Export Promotion Bureau, local pharmaceutical companies made US$163.83 million from July to April of the current fiscal year (FY), 2021-22. This is almost 27% more than they made at the same time last year. Official numbers show that Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical companies are rapidly growing. They have made $169.02 million in FY 2020-21 and $135.79 million in FY 2019-20. In FY 2018-19, the sector made $129.95 million, and in FY 2017-18, it earned $103.4 million.
According to reports, the recent surge in demand for COVID-related pharmaceuticals in the country has been a significant factor in the recent rise. According to local pharma companies, there has been an increase in the export market for anti-viral medications like Remdesivir and Favipiravir that has used to treat COVID patients.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) says that Bangladesh has been one of the most important places in the world to export Remdesivir. In addition to that, Bangladesh has a lot of trade advantages, like being able to sell its drugs on the international market without having to pay duties and not having to pay patent fees when making generic goods, said the sources.
KSM Mostafizur Rahman, the Managing Director of One Pharma, said that “Making drugs has been a vital part of Bangladesh’s exports. The world is now well aware of the possibilities of local pharmaceutical companies, as Bangladesh is now exporting drugs to around 160 countries after meeting almost 98 percent of its demand.”
He further added that “the right steps taken by the government during the pandemic have helped the sector grow its international market. In recent years, the export of drugs used to treat coronavirus has skyrocketed, in addition to the normal goods. Unlike many other industries, the pharmaceuticals industry has caught the attention of buyers from all over the world.”
Insiders in the industry say that more than 20 Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals companies exported COVID drugs, including Incepta, Beacon, Square, Popular, Eskayef, Beximco, Opsonin, ACI, Renata, and Ziska.
The local pharmaceutical industry has grown from about $25 million in 1982 to about $3 billion in June 2020. It is likely to be more than $6.0 billion by 2025 as the buying power of the domestic population rises.