Bangladesh's medicine exports recorded 4.49 percent growth in the 2019-20 fiscal year amid coronavirus while export of other products witnessed downturns.
Industry people said Bangladeshi drugs for Covid-19 treatment have created a substantial demand in the international market, and the pharma sector will see a handsome growth at least in the next six months.
The pharmaceuticals had been posting gradual export growth in pre-pandemic years too.
Bangladesh in the last fiscal year earned $135.79 million by selling locally manufactured drugs in the international market. According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), earnings in 2018-19 fiscal were $130 million, and $103.46 million in FY2017-18.
Beacon Pharmaceuticals Director (global business development) Monjurul Alam said many counties are aware of the quality of Bangladeshi drugs as the thriving industry has 10-15 major market players.
"The demand for drugs like Remdesivir or Favipiravir is good," he added.
"Beacon Pharmaceuticals has a greater export growth than the local market. The International export market for local drugs is expanding due to the major market players," Monjurul further said.
"They have also expanded the capacity and modernised the plants. We are getting the outputs now as Bangladeshi drugs have earned a distinct place at international level," added the Beacon pharma official.
According to the Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceuticals Industries (BAPI), Bangladesh exports medicine to 150 countries. Local companies meet almost 98 percent of domestic demand worth around $2 billion.
Square Pharmaceuticals is the major player dominating Bangladesh's pharmaceutical industry with 18.8 percent share, followed by Incepta at 10.2 percent, Beximco 8.5 percent, Opsonin 5.6 percent, Renata 5.1 percent and Eskayef 4.5 percent.
Industry insiders said the local pharma sector saw a major progress in the last 20 years. International standard factories were set up in the country during this time as the sector got large investments.
With almost all generic drugs manufactured locally, Bangladesh has emerged as one of the key competing countries in the world.