Nepali pharmas eye overseas markets

Domestic drug manufacturers have cast their eyes overseas for growth and four of them have received the certificate of pharmaceutical product (CPP), one of the pre-requisites for obtaining an export licence from the Department of Drug Administration (DDA).

According to the DDA, Lomus Pharmaceuticals, Deurali-Janata Pharmaceuticals, Elder Pharmaceuticals and National Health Care Nepal have received the CPP. The CPP is a must for drug manufacturers wanting to export their products. Once the CPP has been obtained, drug manufacturers can register their products in foreign markets after which the DDA will grant them export licences.

The four companies are planning to export their products mainly to India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and some African countries. Lomus Pharmaceuticals has already registered its products in Cambodia and Myanmar which include mainly general medicines. “We are in the process of registering family planning medicines including pills and contraceptives in the UK,” said Gita Karki, senior officer at Lomus. Mani Ratna Shakya, technical officer at Deurali-Janata Pharmaceuticals, said that the company would soon be registering its products in foreign countries.

Nepali drug manufacturers have been discouraged in their efforts to export their products in the past. Various non-tariff barriers and high registration charges are among the main hurdles that domestic companies face while exporting their products. Nepali pharma companies have to pay a registration fee of up to US$ 50,000 to sell their products in foreign markets. “In addition, they have to pay up to US$ 5,000 for registering each brand in these markets,” said Shankar Ghimire, general secretary of the Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal (APPON).

Nepal Pharmaceuticals Laboratory (NPL), which used to export anti-hypertensive medicines to India, was forced to stop exports due to non-tariff barriers. “We were unable to continue exports due to non-tariff barriers like high registration and renewal fees and delays in the sample testing procedure,” said Umesh Prasad Rauniyar, vice president of marketing of NPL.(Source: ekantipur)

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