History of Nepalese Pharma Industries
HISTORY OF NEPALESE PHARMA INDUSTRIES
Drugs or medicines are those substances that are taken to give relief to a person from his or her ailment. Since medicines are taken by people when they are in a vulnerable physical or mental state it is important that there is no compromise in the quality of medication. A medicine of low quality not only fails to cure the patient but can also aggravate the disease itself. It is therefore very important that there is no compromise in the quality of medicines.
The world Health Organization (WHO) is concerned with the status of health of people all over the world. In an effort to provide good health care and to provide efficacious and safe drugs at economic prices, the WHO has issued strict guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of medicines.
The true history of Nepali pharmaceutical market started with the establishment of Bir Hospital. At that time medicines were imported to fulfill the demand of public. Nepal Pharmaceuticals established its first allopathic plant at Godavari but it could not be successful. The penetration of private sector took place with the establishment of Chemidrug industries in 2026 B.S. (1970 AD) and following it Royal drug limited also started its operation as a government industry in 2029 B.S. (1973 AD). There was a big gap between 2029 to 2038 B.S. (1973-1982 AD). Then came a phase between 2038-2042 B.S. (1982-1985 AD) when introduction of industries like Manoj, Everest, Lomus and NPL took place. On the other hand during this span of time there was mushrooming of saline industries which also failed. The new era for Pharma Industry came during 2050 B.S. (1994 AD) when there was rapid flourishing of pharma industry.
During this phase Drug act was formulated in 2035 B.S. (1978 AD) under which the government regulatory body DDA (Department of Drug Administration) was established 2036 B.S. (1979 AD) In 2060 B.S. (2004 AD) DDA introduced the concept of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and its certification which inspired the Nepali pharmaceutical companies to produce Quality Medicine and made them able to dream to compete with the international market. Until now 20 companies have been certified and the deadline to obtain the certificate has been announced till the end of 2068 B.S. (Mid April 2012). The recent DDA policy presented a criteria of WHO recommended certification for foreign companies to market their products in Nepal due to which several substandard Indian companies had to withdraw their market from Nepal. Apart from having an extra financial load to some companies, it has also opened door for export opportunities.
Today there are almost 108 companies including veterinary and human which are utilizing more than 1000+ molecules for the formulation of products. And not to forget, they are formuating almost all types of therapeutic dosage forms including sterile products. Among the companies four of them have CPP (Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product) which is mandatory for exporting drug. Once the certificate is obtained the company can register its product in foreign markets after which DDA will provide an export license. Mostly these four companies are focusing on market of India, Srilanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and some African countries. All in all we can say that, despite of having a short history; the development of Nepalese Pharmaceutical Fraternity is definitely appreciable and if they go on practicing the same progress with ethical norms one day we can be assured that we will be able to give cut throat competition to the international market.
Source: Appon (Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal)