A business seminar titled “Pharma Sector of Bangladesh: The Next Big Thing!” was hosted and organized by Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI), the country’s largest bilateral business chamber. Speakers at the seminar discussed the growth potentials of the pharmaceutical sector and how it will be one of the most prolific driving forces of Bangladesh’s economy in the upcoming days. The event was attended by numerous pharmacists as well as Thomas Prinz, the German Ambassador, among many other dignitaries and diplomats.
Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
TURNING INNOVATIVE CONCEPT INTO PRACTICE
Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd was established in 1999. We have 2 different manufacturing facilities. One is in Zirabo, and the other one is in Dhamrai. At this very moment, we have a group of around 7,600 strong and professional people driven by knowledge and sheer power of labor. During the last 17 years of operation, Incepta launched as many as 172 generics for the first time in Bangladesh, which gives you an idea of how strong we are when it comes to innovation. Our vision is to become a trusted healthcare company and to ensure better health for everyone, everywhere; this is not limited to Bangladesh. We would like to provide quality healthcare products and services for the benefit of humanity in the best possible way through innovation and diversification. We started exporting in 2006 and by now we are exporting to 64 different countries in 5 continents and registration is going on in 20 more countries.
THE ANSWER LIES IN BANGLADESH
The total pharmaceutical revenues worldwide have exceeded $1 trillion. Most of the brand products generate over $600 billion while the generic market is estimated to generate around $400 billion. Bangladesh is a small country, and its total market is only $2.5 billion. Then why are we becoming one of the biggest buyers of pharmaceutical machinery? That’s because Bangladesh is no longer just supplying pharmaceutical products locally. It is now preparing itself to become a supply house for the whole world. It will not be long before Incepta, and many other pharmaceutical companies of the country will supply a majority of the global generic products.
Sanofi Bangladesh Limited
READY, SET, GROW
Bangladesh has been classified as one of the ‘Frontier Five’ alongside Kenya, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam. Goldman Sachs considered Bangladesh to be one of ‘The Next Eleven’ countries. If you look at the growth of Asia and Indochina, Pricewaterhousecoopers sees Bangladesh as one of the top 30 economies by 2050. This year, our honorable Prime Minister named pharmaceuticals to be the Product of the Year. Our local companies are building their capabilities for high-tech products. They are now producing vaccines, oncology products, insulin and so on. We must consider the contributions of the multinational companies. Our domestic companies are getting approvals and global affiliations like the US FDA, the UK MHRA, TGA, and many more. We must prepare ourselves because the pharmaceutical industry is growing.
THE HISTORY OF A GROWING INDUSTRY
As we all know, the pharmaceutical industry has been growing rapidly. The average growth has hovered between 15% for the last 30 years. Overall, we have witnessed a 19% growth in 2017, and the market size elevated to approximately $2.5 billion. In 1981, the total size of the pharmaceutical market in Bangladesh was 65 million. The pharma sector has grown 40 times in the last 35 years which is quite an exponential growth for any sector. Once upon a time, we were largely dependent on the import of medicines. However, currently the imported pharmaceutical products can be estimated to be 2%, and usually consist of some vaccines, insulins and some high-tech biotechnological products.
BUILDING A GLOBAL COMMUNITY
Today, when we are partnering with multinational pharmaceutical companies, there is a substantial opportunity for technology transfer and cultural transformation; this contributes in a significantly positive way and in taking this industry forward. I would actively promote that our local manufacturers will continue taking more initiatives to partner with multinational players, and they can look to Bangladesh as a place for tremendous potential.