The size of drugs market in Nepal is expanding every year, said people of the field concerned.
As stated by domestic drugs dealers and manufacturers, medicine market in Nepal makes an annual business of worth Rs 70 billion and the supplies are on the rise every year.
According to the Department of Drug Administration (DDA), drugs worth Rs 36 billion are consumed every year in Nepal and the Kathmandu Valley covers 50 percent alone.
The figure includes both imported drugs and medicines manufactured at home. DDA Director General Narayan Dhakal said manufacturing of 45 types of medicines presently takes place in Nepal and remaining drugs used here are imported from India and third countries. Nepal Chemists and Druggists Association (NCDA) general secretary Hari Prasad Bidari said the current domestic drugs market is equivalent to Rs 70 billion and this includes the prices of drug raw materials, and surgical equipment as well.
The Medicine Importers Association of Nepal’s General Secretary Pawan Acharya said data with the Association shows that Nepal annually imports drugs worth Rs 26 billion.
Treatment available for chronic diseases and availability of relatively better healthcare facilities in the Kathmandu Valley draw a more number of patients here from across the country and due to these reasons, the Valley consumes more drugs than other parts of the country.
It is said that 80 to 90 percent drugs imports are from India and the remaining from the third countries. A total of 21,000 pharmacies across the country have been registered with the DDA and over 5,000 are supposed to be operating without registration. Likewise, 90 pharmaceutics have registered for manufacturing human drugs and of them, 70 are operational.
The trend of using drugs among the people without a prescription is persistent in Nepal, and it is increasing.
Dhakal claimed that the DDA has been monitoring overall affairs relating to the drugs manufacturing and market including the quality issue.