Bangladesh and The Gambia get in on drug manufacturing

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Developed country

Two new drug manufacturing facilities have been launched in global
areas that don't usually see much pharmaceutical manufacturing
activity - Bangladesh and The Gambia.

The plant erections illustrate the global pharma market's search for a balance between high drug prices in developed countries and low labour costs in emerging markets.

Bangladeshi generics manufacturer Beximco has announced that its new oral solid dosage (OSD) facility is now up and running, with the production of its leading paracetamol brand drugs.

Beximco has invested over £25m in the plant creating new capacity in order to be able to supply products in international markets, targeting particularly Europe and the US, where pricing is relatively higher than in less-developed markets where the firm's products are currently sold.

"Our new plant will enable us to manufacture our own and other pharmaceutical companies' products at a standard suitable for commercial scale in developed countries,"​ said Nazmul Hassan, the company's chief executive.

"Bemxico will offer an extremely cost effective solution to manufacturing quality drugs, enjoying significant cost advantages due to the low labour and energy costs in Bangladesh."

Commercial production in the plant started last month, focusing on products targeted at the local Bangladeshi market such as Napa (paracetamol) and Neoceptin-R (ranitidine).

This initial production will be followed by a number of products in cardiovascular, antibiotic, anti-depressant, anti-diabetic and other therapeutic classes.

In addition, the firm said that the commissioning of the products and processes aimed for the developed market is currently in progress.

Bemxico expects to increase the manufacturing of the plant, currently running at 25 per cent capacity, to full capacity during the first quarter of next year when it will be manufacturing products for the local and non regulated export markets.

Meanwhile, the construction of a pharmaceutical manufacturing laboratory worth €2.5m in The Gambia has kicked off as a result of Spanish manufacturing firm Toskani's involvement.

The Gambian government spends high amounts of money to buy drugs from overseas and this new plant could be highly beneficial for the country in terms of healthcare provision.

The construction of the new facility, located in the city of Brikama, is expected to be completed in July next year.

The Gambian government is believed to have allocated a piece of land as part of its contribution towards the project.

The provision of drugs at affordable prices is a challenge for developing countries as regulations are not always well defined and therefore quality control standards have to be enforced, in order for a local production to be viable.

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