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24/02/2012: Bangladesh's pharmaceutical market reaches $1.13 billion

The country's domestic pharmaceutical market is now sized, in value terms, at US$ 1.136 billion. There has been a marked value-wise growth of the market -- at the rate of 23.59 per cent -- in 2011 over that of 2010, according to the data released Thursday by IMS Health Bangladesh.

The IMS, a US-based organisation, has been providing pharma market intelligence to more than 100 countries over the past 50 years. Its factual data are based on the country's retail sales only. Institutional sales and import of drug has remained outside the purview of the study.

According to the IMS, the size of Bangladesh's domestic drug market was $977 million in calendar year, 2010, $797 million in 2009, and $686 million in 2008, on the basis of moving annual total (MAT).

The market size has doubled over the last five years, mainly due to increased penetration by the local drug manufacturers, the IMS officials told the FE.

The IMS audit found Square Pharma maintaining its leadership position in the domestic market with its share at 18.71 per cent, followed by Incepta, at 9.34 per cent. 

Beximco Pharma's position in the retail market was the third one, accounting for 8.82 per cent share of the overall market. But its sales growth -- at 30.54 per cent -- was the highest one among the country's top 10 drug manufacturers, according to the IMS. 

Opsonin Pharma was placed as the fourth drug producer in Bangladesh, with its market share at 5.09 per cent, and sales growth by 27.18 per cent.

The IMS data said Renata and Eskayef were in the fifth and sixth positions in the market, with 4.85 per cent and 4.74 per cent shares of it respectively. 

Besides, ACI and ACME were ranked as the seventh and eighth positions respectively. Aristopharma and Drug International were the ninth and tenth drug-makers, with their market shares at 4.06 per cent and 3.65 per cent respectively.

Top executives of various local pharmaceutical companies said crossing $1.0 billion market size is a milestone for them. They attributed this rapid growth mainly to a lowered level of medicine imports.

They also said production of import-substituting drugs by the local companies is resulting in a surge of their sales.

Nazmul Hassan MP, managing director of Beximco Pharmaceutical Limited, told the FE: "Import of drugs has reduced drastically in the recent years, playing a lead role in facilitating the phenomenal growth of domestic market."

"We're now producing various import-substituting drugs at low costs, which are also boosting the sales." 

Mr Nazmul said local companies are now producing insulin, new generation of antibiotics and anti-cancer products. 

Kaiser Kabir, managing director of Renata, said: "Approach of the local companies to the drug stores has changed and sales to them have increased manifold in recent times, helping the local companies to expand their reach to the retail market."

"The companies are now offering different incentives to their sales teams and other stakeholders to boost their retail sales."

Mr Kabir pointed out that increase in people's purchasing power was also an important factor behind the phenomenal growth of the domestic pharmaceutical market. 

There are nearly 250 pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. Out of them, about 30 companies are the dominant ones in the market.

Source: The Financial Express, Dhaka