Kathmandu, February 26
The government-owned Nepal Drugs Ltd (NDL) has finally started the commercial production of paracetamol after more than one year of the firm’s revival.
After successfully producing 80,000 tablets of paracetamolin a week-long trial production, NDL has begun the commercial production of this acetaminophen drug from today, informed Robus Kumar Subedi, general manager of NDL.
However, NDL has said that it will start supplying paracetamol in the domestic market only from the second week of March after producing at least one million paracetamol tablets.
Currently, NDL has the capacity to produce at least 100,000 tablets of paracetamol per day (roughly 750,000 tablets per week).
“Paracetamol was a highly popular acetaminophen drug in the country few years ago. As we have now resumed its production, NDL is committed to continue the past legacy of the drug,” said Subedi.
Set up over four decades ago, NDL was shut in 2010 after it was unable to maintain the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standard of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, the government had decided to revive the defunct NDL in September of 2016.
Nabindra Raj Joshi, the then minister for industry, had led the process of reviving defunct government enterprises in 2016 by giving life to NDL.
After almost eight months of revival, NDL had re-entered the drug business with the production of oral rehydration salt (popularly known as JeevanJal) from May.
Currently, NDL has been producing almost 2,500 packets of oral rehydration salt every day.
NDL officials said that NDL-produced drugs, including paracetamol, will be slightly cheaper than the ones being imported and produced by the private pharmaceutical companies.
After the production of paracetamol, NDL plans to start production of various other drugs like medicines for blood pressure and diabetes. In the long-run, NDL will produce 120 types of essential drugs, according to Subedi.
“We plan to start production of one new drug every month after successfully producing paracetamol,” added Subedi.
A version of this article appears in print on February 27, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.