Foreign drugs hold sway: Study

Kathmandu, June 27:

Nepali citizens take drugs worth over Rs 9 billion in a year, reveals a report released here today, adding that domestic industries supply 35 per cent of drugs needed.

“Nepali citizens spent Rs 9.061 billion in the year 2005-2006. Out of the drugs, consumed here in Nepal, 35 per cent was supplied by domestic industries, while the rest was supplied by public and private sectors,” Kumod Kumar Kafle, president of Pharmaceutical Horizon of Nepal (PHON), said at an interaction on drugs consumption.

The report, which was made public at the programme, was prepared by the PHON for the Department of Drugs Distribution.

Kafle said the drug consumption rate decreased by 8 per cent last year in comparison to the

previous year.

According to the report, allopathic drugs worth Rs 4.984 billion in retail value were sold through private importers. Ayurvedic/ Unani drugs worth Rs 347 million, veterinary drugs worth Rs 201 million and homeopathic drugs worth Rs 4 million were sold through private importers.

“Drugs worth Rs 889 million were imported by the government, UN agencies, INGOs or NGOs,” he said.

According to the report, domestic industries sold allopathic drugs worth Rs 3 billion 187 million in retail value, while drugs worth Rs 5.103 billion were imported through different custom points. Antibiotics comprised about 30 per cent of drugs consumed here, he said, adding that, among drugs manufactured by domestic industries, amoxycillin was the top-selling drug. Most of the antibiotics are imported, the report said, adding that domestic industries should be encouraged to increase the production of antibiotics.

“Some common pat-hogens are resistant to a number of antibiotics,” the report said, calling for antibiotic surveillance.

The report was based on information collected from Nepali medicine manufacturers and customs records.