Bangladesh is a densely populated poor country in South Asia with significant achievement in health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with noticeable Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. The density of its population is about 1063 per square kilometre and total population is about 160 million. Yet its health sector is advancing gradually. Its pharmaceutical industry is one of the progressive sectors, which contributes 1.0 per cent to the country's GDP and is the third largest industry in terms of contribution to the revenue.
The current market size is about 14 billion with persistently about double-digit annual growth. There are 267 licensed pharmaceutical companies and the market is almost self-sufficient in meeting local demand as 97 per cent of the drugs are manufactured locally. Anti-ulcerants are significantly dominating the huge volume sells with marked impact on company revenue. Recent trend shows, anti-ulcerants as a therapeutic class tops the whole market with about 15 per cent share in the total drug market. Moreover, brand-wise ranking, based on sales volume, puts them among 25 top selling brands with the top four anti-ulcerant brands (Table 1). Pharmaceuticals sales trend in recent past years also maintained the same picture which is alarming. It need to be addressed properly as part of the pharmaceutical marketing strategy build up and public health policy formulation with consideration for the prescribing habit of physicians as well as the awareness of the people. This is for the reason of their habit of self-prescribed anti-ulcerant medications.
The writer is with the Department of Psychiatry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.