API in open market, behind Drug manufacturers

samakalA news titled “কাঁচামাল খোলাবাজারে নেপথ্যে ওষুধ কোম্পানি” published on The Daily Samakal today. Here also said that 2500 shops are active in the Mitford market. The General Secretary of “Chemical & Perfumery Merchant Association” Mr. Belayet Hossain is also an owner of a pharmaceutical company. He said about the availability of raw materials for the production of drugs in the open market that these materials cannot be imported except the drug manufacturers. Only drug manufacturers are fully responsible for the availability of raw materials in the open market. He complains that many people to greed more profits are selling the API’s along with other chemicals illegally for many years.

According to The Drug Control Ordinance-1982, nobody can import the main ingredient of a drug (API) except the drug manufacturers. There is no option to sell these raw materials into the open market. Yet, there are about 2,500 shops in Mitford and more than 6,000 shops in whole Bangladesh are selling these in the open market freely. There is a complaint that the large drug manufacturers import the materials with extra quantity and sell in the open market of Mitford with higher price. On the other hand as there is a less capability of the small drug manufacturers to import the raw materials and they are buying these raw materials from the open market to produce the finished drugs. But the qualities of those products are questioned. Few strong black syndicates are producing fake & adulterated drugs using those raw materials.

Dr. A.B.M Farooque, the Professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka said to Samakal about this matter that if the patients take the medicine being produced by the raw materials purchased from the open market can lead to death instead of being cured.

On May 18 last year Directorate od Drug Administration (DGDA) ban to sale the raw materials in the open market. Chemical & Perfumery Merchant Association claimed for the legality to sale and import the raw materials in the open market by giving the counter letter to the DGDA on June 7.

It has been alleged; the large companies from behind opposed to the government’s decision as it will close the Billion Dollar illegal trade if the raw materials cannot be sale in the open market. Eventually the DGDA retreated to stop selling raw materials in the open market under pressure from the big merchants. The Director the DGDA Muhammad Rumin Amin however said, the campaign will run soon against the selling of raw materials in the open market. The strict action will be taken in defiance of ban on the import and selling the raw materials in the open market.

It has been known, the main ingredients of the drugs spreads in the open market by the Chemicals businessman of the Mitford. However, these are not sold to anyone outside of the syndicate. Small pharmaceutical firms as well as the representatives of large companies are collecting raw materials from Mitford. According to search, the price of Ranitidine HCl is 1,650 taka per kg, Azithromcyin Dihydrate 10,000 taka per kg, Cephradine 5,600 taka per kg, Ciprofloxacin HCl 2,900 taka per kg, Omperazole Pellets 900 taka per Kg, Pantoprazle Sodium Sesquihydrate 8,200 taka per kg and paracetamol 450 taka per kg in the open market of Mitford.

According to the DGDA and Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), the drug manufacturers of Bangladesh after covering currently about 97% of the country’s demand, are also exporting to more than 80 countries in the world. Though successful in the finished drugs producing, no success and development in the Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (APIs) producing. There are about 40 API’s are producing by the 15 companies of Bangladesh including Square, Beximco, Active Fine, ACI, Globe, Gonosasthya, Opsonin, Drug International & Eskayef. Therefore, these companies along with the rest other 235 companies are regularly importing about 1,400 APIs & Excipients. The current market size of Pharmaceuticals is about 13,000 crore taka. On the other hand the demand of API & Excipient is about 6,000 crore taka. Last year the all companies imported the raw materials with the price worth of about 5,972 crore taka. Huge amount of money spent for the import of the raw materials has become as a barrier for the development of pharmaceutical industry and economic growth of Bangladesh.

The Professor of the Pharmacy Faculty of University of Dhaka Dr. M M Majid said to Samakal that most of the raw materials are importing from India & China to produce the finished drugs. There is a question about the quality of the raw materials from those 2 countries. The question about the quality and the efficacy of the imported raw materials will stay if we cannot produce those locally and also drug export will not be increased significantly.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) said to Samakal that the small companies cannot import the raw mateirals as per the terms & conditions of block list. They purchase the extra quantity imported by the large companies from the open market. Sometimes for the being late to reach the imported raw materials, the large companies also purchase from the open market then. The system has gone through the ages. For that it is increasing the spread of fake and illegal drugs and also said this crisis will overcome if govt. gives the opportunity for the small companies to import the raw materials with less terms & conditions. In addition, by forming the trading house with the co-ordination of the large companies, it can be distributed to the small companies. Then it will be stop to sell the raw materials in the open market.

The Health Minister Mohammad Nasim said to Samakal about this matter that business should not be done with drugs. It must be resisted the drugs with full force those tends to death instead of being cured. The campaign will run soon to stop the fake drugs & selling the raw materials in the open market. He also said, “We are very close to complete the ‘API Park” in the Munshiganj. After starting of this, no need to import any raw materials from foreign”

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