Category Archives: Pharmaceutical Industry/Healthcare

14 lakh children to be given vitamin A plus capsule in Ctg

14 lakh children to be given vitamin A plus capsule in Ctg

CHITTAGONG, May 31 (BSS)- Nearly 14 lakh children under five will be given vitamin A Plus capsules during National Vitamin A plus campaign -12 on June 2 in the city and district.

The campaign will start at 8am and continue up to 4pm without any intermission.

Over 700 supervisors including Commissioners of 41 wards will supervise the ‘A’ Plus campaign in their respective jurisdictions in the port city.

A total of 4992 temporary vaccination centres will be set up by Chittagong Civil Surgeon office in all 14 upazilas in Chittagong while Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) will set up 1248 temporary centres in its 41 wards to carry out the programme.

Over 25000 volunteers and health workers including 4848 by CCC would be engaged for giving vitamin ‘A’ Plus capsules to the children up to 5 years while one worming tablet would be given to each aged between 2 and 5 years.

Besides, 1200 volunteers and health workers in CCC area and 4850 in 14 upazilas in the district will carry out the drive in the following four days from June 3 as a follow- up programme, visiting households to cover up drop- out children, CCC and civil surgeon office sources said.

CCC sources said several mobile teams consisting of 278 members in port city and 580 members in the district have been engaged to feed oral vaccines to the children at rail, bus and steamer stations as well as other places of makeshift living.

CCC mayor M Manjur Alam will formally inaugurate the day’s programmes on June 2.

Dr Mohammad Selim, Chief health officer of CCC, in a press conference disclosed this at a press conference this noon.


All set for Vitamin A Plus Campaign in Rangpur division

RANGPUR, May 31 (BSS) – All preparations have been completed for conducting Vitamin A Plus Campaign in all 58 upazilas under eight districts of Rangpur division on June 2 next, officials said here today.

A total of 20,33,095 under-5 children will be administered with Vitamin A Plus Capsule and of them, 3,24,232 babies between six and 11 months and 17,08,863 others between 1 and five years will be given Vitamin A Plus Blue Capsules and Red Capsules respectively.

Besides, 15,84,018 children of 2 to 5 years age group of them will be given deworming Albendazole tablets on the day, Divisional Director (Health) Dr Shahadat Hossain told BSS this noon.

All Civil Surgeons and Upazila Heath and Family Planning Officers in association with different GOB-NGOs have taken all necessary steps to make the campaign successful in the division, he said.

Divisional Commissioner Jashim Uddin Ahmed, Divisional Director (Health) Dr Shahadat Hossain, Deputy Commissioners, Civil Surgeons, Deputy Directors of Family Planning Department and other officials are expected to inaugurate the campaign in different districts.

The campaign will be conducted under the auspices of Institute of Public Health Nutrition, National Nutrition Services and Family Planning Directorate under the Health and Family Welfare Ministry with the assistances of UNICEF and World Health Organisation. Dr Shahadat Hossain said the campaign is aimed at reducing death risks of babies, preventing night blindness, bitot’s spots, corneal lesions and weight losses, poor growth and anemia from worm infestations to ensure healthy growth of the children.

A total of 40,740 volunteers and 5,228 supervisors will work at 352 hard to reach centres, 538 union offices and 13,580 other sites in all 58 upazilas in Rangpur division to make the campaign successful, he added.

Internet facility in 2,000 community clinics soon

Internet facility in 2,000 community clinics soon

DHAKA, Jan 3 (BSS) – Health and Family Welfare Minister Professor Dr AFM Ruhal Haque today said internet facilities would be provided to 2,000 community clinics soon in order to ensure rural people’s better access to primary healthcare.

“Community clinics would be the base for ensuring access to and improving healthcare at local levels. The service provision of the clinics would also go digital gradually,” he said as the chief guest at a view-exchange meeting with journalists on community clinics at Jatiya Press Club here.

Prime Minister’s Health Advisor Professor Dr Syed Modasser Ali, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Mujibur Rahman Fakir, Health Secretary Mohammad Humayun Kabir, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Professor Dr Mohammad Shefayet Ullah and project director of community clinics revitalization programme Dr Makhduma Nargis also spoke on the occasion.

Despite ups and downs, Ruhal Haque said, the concept of community clinic has generated a sense of relief for primary healthcare in rural areas, while huge enthusiasm among governments of many developing countries. The government, he said, would revitalize the community clinics at any cost to reach healthcare at the doorsteps of rural people.

The concept of community clinics was introduced during the last tenure of the Awami League government in order to ensure basic healthcare to every 6,000 rural people from each clinic. The government took the initiative to set up 13,500 such clinics across the country in late nineties, but the process was stalled between 2001 and 2008.

The present government, however, took a fresh initiative to revitalize the health programme with a target to build a total of 18,000 community clinics and bring the rural people under the coverage of primary healthcare.

Ruhal Haque said the community clinics should be the focal point for rendering healthcare to the majority of population, who in general live in rural areas with little or no healthcare access. He said more than 60 million people have so far taken services from the community clinics since its inception in last decade.

Suggestions from journalists also came up in the meeting to revitalize the rural health clinics through proper monitoring and planned assistance from the ministry.

A number of journalists suggested providing a strict guideline to health workers not to prescribe any drug at will or based on their experience as media reports show some health workers are trying to make extra income through private practices.

Teledermatology project launched

Teledermatology project launched
Business Report

Telemedicine Working Group of Bangladesh (TWGBD) and Grameenphone(GP) have recently signed an agreement at the GP corporate head office in the capital recently. They signed the deal in order to increase accessibility of specialized dermatology services for the rural community.

This project will enable patients suffering from skin diseases to consult with a specialized doctor realtime via store and forward method with the help of Digital Imaging and Communication in Telemedicine (DICOT) & Telemedicine Information, Management and Education System (TIMES).

Prof. Reza Bin Zaid, Chairman TWGBD and Tore Johnsen, CEO from Grameenphone inked the deal to initiate the pilot teledermatology project through Communicaty Information Centers (CIC).

For the pilot phase, 4 CICs will be equipped with all the telemedicine hardware (DICOT) and software (TIMES).

Japanese firm to buy JMI Pharma stake

Japanese firm to buy JMI Pharma stake
Author / Source : Staff Reporter

DHAKA, DEC 5: Nipro Corporation, a globally known Japanese pharmaceutical industry giant, announced Monday the purchase of around 51 per cent stake of a local pharmaceutical company for US$10,481 thousand.

The company, JMI Pharma Ltd, will change its name to Nipro JMI Pharma Ltd after the takeover, an official said. According to a press statement from the company, it eyes more market share of pharmaceutical products in Bangladesh, as the market expands approximately 15 per cent every year.

JMI Pharma is a concern of JMI Group, which has already commenced joint-venture with Nipro Corp about medical equipment business.

“We will work hard to develop new drugs with our manufacturing technique of pharmaceutical products and enforce domestic sales in Bangladesh,” a Nipro Corporation official said.

Pharma export to 26 more countries soon

Pharma export to 26 more countries soon

DHAKA, Nov 2 (BSS) – Pharmaceutical industry mulls to export drug items to all 120 destinations from the existing 84 countries soon, thanks to the ‘visionary plan’ to propel the industry’s growth.

“We are planning to start pharma export to all 120 countries by the next few years to give a big boost to the country’s export earning,” Abdul Muktadir, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical industries (BAPI), told BSS today.

Muktadir, also managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said those days are not far off when Bangladesh would earn thousands of crore Taka from export of pharmaceutical products. “It is possible in the next five to seven years,” he said.

He said five leading companies — BEXIMCO, Incepta, Square, Renata and SK&F — recently received the United Kingdom’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate.

This certificate would not only help increase the standard of local medicines up to the UK standard but also expedite Bangladesh’s export to the potential destinations.

The said local products would also get registered by the next three or four years, he said, adding more ten companies are on the path to receive the GMP certification.

Referring to the steady export performance during the first quarter (July-September) of the current financial year, Muktadir said the export of local drug items is likely to increase by 30 to 40 per cent.

He recommended that the government allow local firms invest abroad to give the growing sector a fillip.

“We have the full capacity to start packaging industry or industrial units and we can invest abroad from our export retention. We need the government’s policy support.”

Potential segment of the pharma market is now 130 billion US dollars. Presently, a good number of local firms meet 97 per cent of the demand of the local market that stood at Taka 7,000 crore.

Export earnings from pharmaceuticals totalled $44.27 million in the last fiscal surpassing $ 40.97 million earned in 2009-10 fiscal, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data shows.

Healthcare Pharma gets int’l award

Healthcare Pharma gets int’l award
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER

Dhaka, Sept 29: Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd., one of Bangladesh’s leading pharmaceutical companies, has received the prestigious “International Star Award for Quality, Geneva 2011″ from Business Initiative Directions (BID) at the 36th Quality Convention at Geneva, Switzerland recently, says a press release. The award marks an extremely significant milestone for the company as it symbolises international recognition for the company’s unflinching commitment to quality, leadership, technology and innovation spanning a period of more than six years.

Md Halimuzzaman, chief executive officer of Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, received the award from Jose E. Prieto, president of BID. The award is the first ever in Bangladesh in Pharmaceuticals sector.

Local pharma cos likely to grab $5b international donors’ mkt

Local pharma cos likely to grab $5b international donors’ mkt
Badrul Ahsan

The country’s drug export may see a massive boom in the coming days, as the local producers are getting prepared to join the billion dollar medicine supply chain of different international charities.

Global medicine donors like Clinton Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxfam and other agencies every year donate drugs worth billions of dollars to poor countries.

The government has recently started construction of a drug-testing laboratory according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, which the health minister expects to be completed within a year.

Earlier, the absence of such a world-class laboratory deprived the local medicine producers of supplying medicines to the international charities, industry insiders said.

In 2010 only, Clinton Foundation donated US$287 million, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $166.5 million and Oxfam around $211 million for ensuring healthcare facilities to the people of the impoverished nations.

Besides, other internationally reputed charitable organisations have also been donating a significant amount of money every year for healthcare and research.

Exporters said Bangladesh will be able to sell medicines worth billions of dollars to the donor organisations, if the government sets up the drug-testing laboratory with certification from the WHO.

Secretary General of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) Abul Muktadir told the FE that the absence of a world-class drug-testing laboratory has been depriving the Bangladeshi companies of joining the donor organisations’ supply chain.

“Our medicine products are well accepted to a large number of countries across the world for their quality and competitive prices. But the absence of a quality lab has left us behind,” he said.

“Despite repeated requests by BAPI over the last decade, the government could not establish a modern world-class lab. However, we have heard that work for setting up such a lab has started recently.”

He also said many Bangladeshi exporters would be able to supply a good volume of drugs to the $5.0 billion charity chain within a couple of years after establishment of the lab.

“Once the donors’ are assured that the quality of Bangladeshi medicines is up to the WHO-standard and their prices are competitive, they would positively source pharma products from Bangladesh,” Muktadir added.

Health and Family Welfare Minister A F M Ruhal Haque said the government has started the process of adopting the WHO guidelines for the drug-testing laboratory.

“We have started the construction of a WHO-standard lab, and I am hopeful that the work will be completed within a year,” he added.

Bangladesh has 258 registered advanced drug manufacturing (allopathic) companies, of which 164 are actively involved in manufacturing or marketing of pharmaceutical products at home and abroad.

The country’s drug export recorded a growth at the rate of 46.31 per cent in the July-August period of this fiscal year (2011-12), comparing to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Bangladesh exports medicines to 67 countries. About 97 per cent of the country’s total drug consumption is met by local producers, while the rest 3.0 per cent is met through import.s

Industrial park for pharmaceutical industry by 2012: Barua

Industrial park for pharmaceutical industry by 2012: Barua

Contract manufacturing of pharmaceuticals might help the sector earn Tk 200 billion per year.* About 97 percent of country’s total demand for medicine is met locally, and the sector is exporting products to around 80 countries of Europe, Africa and Asia.

Staff Correspondent

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the government would establish an active pharmaceuticals ingredient (API) industrial park for the booming local pharmaceutical industry to help boost exports.

It would be a giant leap for the industry as most of pharmaceutical raw materials could be produced locally when the project will be implemented by 2012, he said.

“An active pharmaceuticals ingredient (API) industrial park will be set at Gojaria Upazila of Munshiganj to co-operate the entrepreneurs of pharmaceutical sector. I hope that the project will be realised by 2012 and the sector will be able to go a long way,” the Minister said.

Barua informed this while inaugurating a two-day international conference on ‘Globalisation of Pharma Industries’, organised by Asia Pacific Consultants Pty Ltd, Astralia, at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

Barua said it is very heartening that country is now producing 97 percent of its total demand for medicine, and exporting to around 80 countries of Europe, Africa and Asia, which contributes to country’s branding.

He also suggested the entrepreneurs to go for contract manufacturing, which might help the sector earn Tk 200 billion per year.

If the international buyers’ conditions are fulfilled, the earnings through generic pharmaceutical products export will rise to US$ 10 billion a year, Barua remarked.

Co-founder and CEO of Socra Tec R&D, Germany, Prof Henning Blume, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, Abdul Muktadir, among others spoke on the occasion chaired by managing director of Asia Pacific Consultants, Halim Gunuan.

Muktadir said Bangladesh has a huge potential in pharmaceutical manufacturing and export as the supply of skilled manpower is adequate here with around 40 local universities providing pharmacy education and their English language skill is also good.

He said neighbours – India and China– are doing well in pharmaceutical products export and, as a sandwich country, Bangladesh can also take challenges to claim a remarkable share of the existing $ 1 trillion international market.

Pharma industry to surpass RMG sector in 10 years : Ruhal

Pharma industry to surpass RMG sector in 10 years : Ruhal

DHAKA, Feb 26 (BSS) – Health and Family Welfare Minister Prof Dr AFM Ruhal Haque hoped that the country’s growing pharmaceutical industry would surpass the Readymade Garment (RMG) sector in terms of export earning in next 10-15 years.

The government would soon take necessary steps to solve the problems of the pharmaceutical industry owners, he added.

He was speaking at a discussion arranged in connection with the inauguration of a 50-bed hospital named Afaj-Nateka Memorial Hospital under Srinagar upazila in the district today.

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister and Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam addressed the discussion as the chief guest while Chief Adviser of Afaj-Nateka Trust Dr M Aktaruzzaman Bhuiyan was in the chair.

Prime Minister’s Health Adviser Prof Dr Modasser Ali, AL Publicity Secretary Nuh-ul-Alam Lelin, Chairman of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BRCS) Prof Dr MS Akbar, MP, Jatiya Sangsad Whip Shegufta Yeasmin Emily, Chairman of Afaj-Nateka Trust M Aminuzzaman Bhuiyan and AL Health and Population Affairs Secretary Dr Bodiuzzaman Bhuiyan (Dablu), among others, spoke as special guests.

Prof Ruhal said Bangladesh has fulfilled its target of reducing maternal mortality rate and the world community acknowledged the achievement as well.

Syed Ashraf welcomed the private-level initiative for healthcare facilities of the people free of cost.

Prof Modasser expressed the hope that the Afaj-Nateka Memorial Hospital would perform as per the need of the people.

Initially, the hospital would provide poor people with primary healthcare and outdoor services. Besides, the hospital will hold monthly basis camps of cardiology, kidney, childcare and ear, nose and throat for the distressed persons.

Pharma expo eyes more foreign buyers

Pharma expo eyes more foreign buyers
Asian fair ends tomorrow
Star Business Report

A three-day Asian pharmaceuticals exposition began yesterday, opening scope for local firms to adopt the latest technologies to make quality drugs and showcase their products to foreign buyers.

“It is an opportunity for the local companies to know about the latest technologies. The fair has also given us a chance to showcase our products to buyers for exports,” said Abdul Muktadir, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI).

The Fifth Asian Pharma Expo takes place at a time when the local pharmaceuticals industry is expanding and a number of local drug makers are gearing up to get into the highly regulated US and European markets.

BAPI and GPE Expo Pvt Ltd have co-organised the event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The fair ends tomorrow.

More than 170 firms, including six local drug markers, displayed their products at the show, which also exhibits various machineries ranging from production and processing of medicines to packaging, quality control and surveillance.

Raw materials of various drugs are also displayed at the fair.

Presently, local companies meet 97 percent of the demand of the local market that stood at Tk 7,000 core in 2010, up from Tk 4,000 crore in the previous year, according to BAPI.

Muktadir, also managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said the growth of Bangladesh medicine sector is attracting a growing number of people from abroad.

Organisers said the number of participants have increased in the current show from the previous one with some participants expecting to get spot orders.

“We hope to get one or two orders on the spot this year,” said Shankar Gupta, chief executive of Encapsulation of ACG Pam Pharma Technologies Pvt Ltd. The company displayed a machine with a capacity to fill 90,000 capsules an hour.

In the previous pharma exposition in Bangladesh, the company showcased a filling machine which was capable of filling 40,000 capsules an hour.

The fair drew not only pharmaceuticals entrepreneurs but also young learners of pharmacy.

Akhter M Chaudhury, chairman and managing director of Nuvista Pharma Ltd, said the fair has brought different types of equipment to manufacture drug.

“It is very informative and my experience is very positive” he said.

Md Nazrul Islam, senior executive of international marketing of ACI Pharmaceuticals, said the company joined the show with an aim to accelerate exports.

“We got buyers from Nepal and Kenya in the previous show. Now our exports to these countries are in process. We hope to get some new buyers this year also,” he said.

Drug makers double sales in three years

Drug makers double sales in three years

Sajjadur Rahman

Top medicine makers recorded robust growth last year at an average 25 percent, riding on people’s growing health awareness and purchasing power, according to the market players.

Also, increased rural penetration of the manufacturers and a significant development in healthcare sector have contributed to the growth.

Bangladesh medicine sales reached Tk 3,700 crore three years ago, which nearly doubled to

Tk 7,000 crore in 2010. The industry players forecast the growth trend would take the sales volume to Tk 10,000 crore in 2011.

Square, Beximco, Eskayef, Incepta and Acme are the top five manufacturers by sales and growth rate.

Beximco grew faster than other companies at a staggering 33 percent in 2010 with Tk 523 crore sales.

Incepta’s sales and growth rate were Tk 665 crore and 31 percent respectively, followed by Acme’s Tk 600 crore and 17 percent.

Eskayef logged Tk 426 crore in sales and the growth rate was 27 percent, the third highest pace in the year, said a company official.

“Increasing health consciousness and buying capacity have helped the industry grow consistently,” said Mizanur Rahman Sinha, managing director of Acme Pharmaceuticals, one of the fastest growing manufacturers.

Sinha predicts the industry’s total sales at Tk 10,000 crore in the current year.

Managing Director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals Abdul Muktadir echoed the same reason for the market growth, but he is not surprised to see the success.

Muktadir said 5 percent GDP growth helps the pharma industry grow at 15 percent, and 6 percent and 7 percent growth makes it 20 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Sales of Square Pharmaceuticals, the market leader, were Tk 1,270 crore in 2010, up from Tk 1,116 crore a year ago. Sales grew 14 percent year-on-year .

AM Faruque, managing director and chief executive officer of Apex Pharma, finds Bangladesh market to be a potential one. He thinks affordability and availability of medicines will help the market boom in the next few years.

Faruque said Apex Pharma, which is not a big player now, will emerge as one of the top five companies in five years. The present turnover of the company is Tk 60 crore only.

“Apex is coming in a big way,” said Faruque.

Bill Mckean, a UK pharmacist who has recently joined Apex Pharma as its chief technical officer, sees a huge prospect and high-quality players in the local market.

According to him, a large population and relaxation of trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) for least developed countries are contributing to the market growth.

Business Monitor International in its latest report (Q1 2011) said Bangladesh has moved up one place to occupy the 14th position in 17 regional markets surveyed in BMIs Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Business Environment Ratings for the Asia region.

Still, Bangladesh has a long way to go, the report said.

This adjustment now sees Bangladesh placed below Vietnam and above Sri Lanka. Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical rating is 40.2 out of 100, a figure that has changed marginally from the previous quarter but remains lower than the regional average of 53.1. Globally, Bangladesh occupies 67th position in BMIs 83 market-strong pharmaceutical universe.

Pharma sector to get API Park

Pharma sector to get API Park

Dhaka, Dec 28: The longstanding demand of country’s pharmaceutical companies for a specialized park that got stuck due to complexities over acquiring lands has seen the light again following the completion of land acquisition. The work of land-filling for the country’s first specialized industrial park – Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) Park – in Gajaria upazila of Munshiganj district for the pharmaceuticals sector is now going on in full swing.

“The land-filling work will be completed by June next year. Once the land-filling is done, we’ll immediately allocate plots,” Industries Minister Dilip Barua told the agency over phone.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to inaugurate the formal works of the park after completion of land-filling.  Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) under the Ministry of Industries has taken up the project in a bid to facilitate production of basic raw materials locally, enhance local and foreign investment and to boost foreign exchange earning through exports.

Bangladesh moves to rank 14th

Bangladesh moves to rank 14th
BMI’s Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare survey on 17 nations
Staff Reporter

DHAKA, DEC 18: In the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2010-11 (Q111), Bangladesh has moved up a step to occupy the 14th position of the 17 regional markets surveyed in BMI’s Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business Environment Ratings (BERs) for the Asia region. This adjustment now sees Bangladesh placed below Vietnam and above Sri Lanka, according to the latest Business Monitor International (BMI) report published on December 18.

Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical rating is 40.2 out of 100, a figure that has changed marginally from the previous quarter but remains lower than the regional average of 53.1.

Globally, Bangladesh occupies 67th position in BMI’s 83 market-strong pharmaceutical universe. Despite its current ranking, BMI expects Bangladesh’s position to improve over the medium term as a result of rising population numbers, economic improvements and the efforts made by domestic firms to expand both their products portfolios and overseas markets.

BMI forecast, sales of prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are expected to grow from US$1.17bn in 2009 to US$3.95bn in 2019, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.99 per cent.

According to a report published by IMS Health, retail sales of pharmaceutical products grew 18 per cent in the 12 months to March 2010, while local sales stood at Tk 57.8 billion for the period.

Growth in Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector has been attributed to growing health consciousness in both urban and rural areas, advanced manufacturing processes and new investments that have helped boost local sales.

Drug International Limited performed the best, achieving 39 per cent growth, followed by Opsonin with 32 per cent and Incepta with 31 per cent. However, in terms of sales, Square Pharmaceuticals recorded the highest rate with sales worth Tk 11.2 billion.

Elsewhere, Novus Pharmaceuticals Limited, which forms part of the Abdul Monem Group, announced that it is to enter the Bangladesh pharmaceutical sector.

The new venture is set to begin commercial operations in September 2010. The company has initially invested about Tk 300 million towards establishing a new factory at its site in Hemayetpur, Savar.

A strong research and development (R&D) department has also been created – designed to meet the standards of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) criteria as stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Meanwhile, Eskayef announced that it had received certification from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia for the company’s manufacturing facility at Tongi.

Eskayef is the only pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh to have achieved accreditation from both the UK MHRA and Australia’s TGA. The company now plans to achieve US FDA accreditation.

As part of efforts to improve healthcare services, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, the first and only Joint Commission International-accredited hospital in Bangladesh is to build its second facility in Chittagong.

The new300-bed hospital, Apollo Hospitals Chittagong, is expected to be operational some time in 2012.

The hospital will provide a complete range of the latest diagnostic, medical and surgical facilities, said report in Business Monitor International.

New insulin plant opens

New insulin plant opens
Product to be available in Oct
Staff Correspondent

A high-tech insulin manufacturing plant opened in Bangladesh yesterday amid hopes of providing world-class medicines to the country’s growing diabetic patients.

The plant in Tongi is a tie-up between the world’s biggest insulin maker Novo Nordisk and Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, a leading local pharmaceutical company, which will start selling drugs in the local market in October next year.

Lise Kingo, executive vice president and chief of staff of Novo Nordisk, inaugurated the plant on the premises of Eskayef.

The Nordisk-Eskayef plant will manufacture over 5 million vials a year, maintaining the high quality standards followed by Novo Nordisk across the world.

Senior Vice President of International Operations Jesper Høiland, Vice President for Oceania and South East Asia Sanjeev Shishoo, Bangladesh Diabetic Association President Prof AK Azad Khan and Eskayef Director Simeen Hossain were present at the inaugural.

Kingo said producing insulin drugs in local settings has become important for Bangladesh, as the number of diabetic patients has increased in the country as elsewhere in the world.

“With Eskayef as our partner, we will continue to work to improve the lives of the people in Bangladesh,” she said.

Simeen Hossain said the joint venture represented a milestone in the history of Eskayef. “There would be no compromise in delivering quality products,” she assured.

Jesper Høiland said there would be proper technology transfer under the joint venture, as Novo Nordisk believes in uniform global standard.

He said the tie-ups among Novo Nordisk, Eskayef and Diabetic Association would make a significant difference in looking after patients with diabetes.

Novo Nordisk officials were in Dhaka yesterday to attend the inauguration of the insulin making plant.

During the ceremony, they also expressed confidence that the plant would be able to make quality insulin matching global standards.

They also inspected Eskayef’s various departments and facilities, particularly the manufacturing unit, quality control measures and water treatment plant and expressed satisfaction.

The partnership deal, signed in 2009, has facilitated establishment of the hi-tech plant to make these sophisticated biotechnological products in Bangladesh.

The plant, the third set up by the company in Asia after China and India, opened at a time when nearly 6 million Bangladeshis are said to be suffering from diabetes.

The number is expected to cross 10 million in the next 20 years due to changes in lifestyle, rapid urbanisation, obesity, lack of physical work and ageing of people.

Novo Nordisk enjoys more than 80 percent share in the insulin segment of diabetic care market in Bangladesh.

A Rajan Kumar, managing director of Novo Nordisk Pharma Pvt Ltd, and general managers of Eskayef were also present on the occasion.

World-standard insulin to be made in Bangladesh

World-standard insulin to be made in Bangladesh
Novo Nordisk and Eskayef Bangladesh pair up

Lise Kingo, executive vice president and chief of staff of Novo Nordisk, speaks to The Daily Star at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday. Prof AK Azad Khan, left, Bangladesh Diabetic Association president; Jesper Høiland, second from right, senior vice president of Novo Nordisk, and Sanjeev Shishoo, extreme right, vice president for Oceania and South East Asia, are also seen. Photo: shawkat jamil

Sohel Parvez

It was two hours before midnight. An aged woman, arms clasped and covered by a chador against cold, slowly entered a thinly crowded drug store. She gripped a vial as she approached the salesperson.

The store assistant appeared to be familiar with the woman, who handed a vial and syringe, and asked him to push inject her right arm. It is filled with insulin, named Mixtard 30, made by Novo Nordisk.

To date, this insulin brand, Mixtard, comes from Denmark, the base of Novo Nordisk, the global leader in diabetes care. But within a year, no import of such insulin from the Scandinavian country will be required.

The drug will be made at Tongi near Dhaka thanks to a tie-up between the world’s biggest insulin maker Novo Nordisk and Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, a leading local pharmaceutical company.

The partnership deal, signed in 2009, has facilitated establishment of a hi-tech plant to make these sophisticated biotechnological products here.

The Nordisk-Eskayef plant opens today to manufacture over 5 million vials a year, maintaining the high quality standards followed by Novo Nordisk across the world.

“We’ve one global standard. So everywhere you will have insulin of exactly the same standard,” said Lise Kingo, executive vice president and chief of staff of Novo Nordisk.

Kingo shared his view in an interview with The Daily Star at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

Senior Vice President of International Operations Jesper Hoiland, Vice President for Oceania and South East Asia Sanjeev Shishoo and Bangladesh Diabetic Association President Prof AK Azad Khan were also present.

Novo Nordisk officials are in Dhaka to attend the inauguration of the insulin making plant.

They expressed confidence that Eskayef backed by a leading business conglomerate, Transcom Group, would be able to make quality insulin here as per the global standard.

“We’re very pleased that we’ve partnered with Eskayef. Transcom is behind it. It’s (Trancom) a very professionally run company that is working in many different areas and we feel very comfortable that we’ve found the right partner for this collaboration,” Jesper Hoiland said.

“And we’ve so far done very fine and lived up to our expectation,” he added.

The groundwork for the tie-up began four years ago. Novo Nordisk and Eskayef inked the deal in November of 2009, after global diabetic care giant became confident that the Bangladeshi company would be able to make quality insulin by following the single global standard of Novo Nordisk.

The plant, one of the three in Asia after China and India, is going to be opened at a time when nearly 6 million Bangla-deshis suffer from diabetes. The number is expected to cross 10 million in the next 20 years due to changes in lifestyle, rapid urbanisation, lack of work and obesity and ageing of people.

At present, some 20 percent of the diabetic patients get care through the network of the diabetic association, with which Novo Nordisk also partners in educating health care professionals and creating public awareness about the disease.

Such partnership has not only helped create awareness and educate healthcare professionals but also allowed Novo Nordisk to record high demand for its products.

The company enjoys more than 80 percent share in the insulin segment of diabetic care market in Bangladesh.

Kingo said the plant in Bangladesh will increase the availability of its products on the local market.

Besides, the plant will also help leverage the expertise of local population, transfer technology and benefit society.

Shishoo said the establishment of the manufacturing base in partnership with Eskayef shows Novo Nordisk’s confidence in Bangladesh.

“It’s a tremendous sign of confidence. We’re very selective about the countries where we start production,” he said.

“It’s not a normal 24-hour routine, but it’s also a confidence in our partners like Eskayef that we can set up a world-class plant which can deliver the insulin of the highest quality.”

Jesper Hoiland said the factory in Dhaka would also have an impact on the work force.

“It will have impact on society,” he said, pointing out that Bangladesh is one of the countries that handle well the issues of diabetes caring.

“I’m always using Bangladesh as a role model because you’ve really done a world class job of looking after patients with diabetes,” said Hoiland, pointing to the network and care solutions provided by Bangladesh Diabetic Association.

Kingo said he admired Bangladesh’s effort for diabetes care and said Novo Nordisk has been working for many years educating doctors and nurses how to treat people with diabetes.

The 87-year-old Novo Nordisk, which has been operating in Bangladesh since 1972, also supports BADAS to provide care to underprivileged children with diabetes.