The pharmaceutical market in Bangladesh is pretty small compared to the population size of the country, mainly because of the lack of spending power of the population. Pharmaceutical spending is also amongst the lowest in the world in per capita terms. Healthcare expenditures consist of only 3.35% of GDP. However, increased awareness of healthcare, increase in per capita income, emergence of private healthcare services and the government’s increased expenditure in this sector, together with other factors, have caused the demand to rise in recent years. The sector is also protected from external competition as imports are completely restricted for similar drugs that are manufactured locally. This sector reports provides an overview of the pharmaceutical sector in Bangladesh and highlights the top performers that are listed in the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).
1.1 Pharmaceutical Sector in Bangladesh
Pharmaceutical sector is technologically the most developed manufacturing industries in Bangladesh and the third largest industry in terms of contribution to government’s revenue. The industry contributes about 1% of the total GDP. There are about 250 licensed pharmaceutical manufacturers in the country; however, currently a little over 100 companies are in operation. It is highly concentrated as top 20 companies produce 85% of the revenue. According to IMS, a US-based market research firm, the retail market size is estimated to be around BDT 84 billion as on 2011. Bangladesh pharmaceutical companied focus primarily on branded generic final formulations, mostly using imported APIs (Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredient). Branded generics are a category of drugs, including prescription products, that are either novel dosage forms of off-patent products produced by a manufacturer that is not the originator of the molecule, or a molecule copy of an off-patent product with a trade name. About 85% of the drugs sold...