NDL plans to start production of blood pressure, diabetes drugs

Kathmandu, December 28

Nepal Drugs Limited is planning to start production of medicines for blood pressure and diabetes.

“The medicines of diabetes and blood pressure are sold at high prices in the market. We have decided to manufacture those medicines so that the patients of diabetes and blood pressure do not have to pay high prices for the medicines,” said Gyani Bahadur Rayamajhi, administration head, Nepal Drugs Limited.

As per the International Diabetes Federation, there were 526,000 diabetic patients in Nepal in 2015. There are 78 million people in South East Asia having diabetes and this population will rise to 140 million by 2040 as per IDF.

NDL had decided to produce tablet medicines and for this a tablet unit has been set up. Production of tablet medicines is the second phase. In the first phase, NDL had produced oral re-hydrated salt. Currently NDL is working on production of Cetamol.

“Production of medicines for diabetes and blood pressure is a step by step process. First we produced oral re-hydrated salt. Cetamol is almost ready. We will soon produce medicines for diabetes and blood pressure too. It is in our to-do list,” added Rayamajhi.

There are 24 private pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medicines for diabetes. Similarly, there are 21 private pharmaceutical companies that produce medicines of blood pressure. There are 19 private pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medicines of both diabetes and blood pressure as per the data provided by Department of Drug Administration, Bijulibazar.

Established four decades ago, the company had halted production for around eight years after failing to adopt Good Manufacturing Practices set by World Health Organisation.

The company resumed operation on May 7, 2017 after it received Rs 146.8 million from the government to procure essential raw materials and upgrade facilities.

NDL started production of oral re-hydration salt by upgrading facilities after receiving the first instalment of Rs 64.8 million from the finance ministry and has also planned to produce iron tablets, antibiotics and cough syrups, among others, in future.