Policy support, incentives sought for active pharma ingredients

DHAKA Speakers at a seminar today laid emphasis on the policy support and incentives to tap the potentiality of country's active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) industry.

They also urged the government to conduct extensive research and development initiatives for a sustainable API industry to raise the stake in $ 45 billion market.

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) organized the seminar on Prospects and challenges of API industry in Bangladesh at DCCI auditorium, said a press release.

DCCI President Osama Taseer said pharmaceuticals industry's one of the major challenges is import dependency on raw materials as the local API producers can supply only 5 percent of demand, which is relatively cheaper than imported API.

We need modern skills and technical ability for the API industry to contribute more to trim the import dependency, he said, adding, Capacity building of local researchers, academic institutions, manufacturers and professionals are needed to be immediately addressed through public and private sector.

The DCCI President also emphasized to make joint ventures with international API producers and gain experience from them.

Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Md Sirazul Islam termed the medical science as a live science and put emphasized on industry-academia collaboration for research and development for a better API industry.

We need to utilize our universities for vigorous research, and BIDA will assist for the development of API sector, he added.

Islam said locally produced medicines are catering 98 percent of country's total demand and Bangladesh is currently exporting medicines of about $ 135 million to about 120 countries which indicates its strong footprint in this sector.

If public and private sector work together, nothing is impossible, he added.

Director of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) Md Ruhul Amin said DGDA is firmly committed to support to grow the API industry in Bangladesh by extending policy implementation. But, research and development are must to do something good in the API industry, he said.

Amin requested the entrepreneurs to invest more in this sector.

Professor Dr Md Rabiul Islam of the Department of Chemistry at Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University made keynote presentation. He said domestic pharmaceutical market size is Taka 20,512 crore having annual growth of 10 percent.

Major Gen Dr. Jahangir Hossain Mollick (Retd), Former Director General of DGDA, M Hafizur Rahman, Director of WTO Cell at Ministry of Commerce, Dr. Sheikh Maksudur Rahman, Director (API Project), Acme Laboratories Ltd. and Active Fine Chemicals Chairman M Zia Uddin spoke as designated panelists.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)