Medical device-maker ANC plans to cut country's import dependence
Publish- March 06, 2021, 11:01 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Update- March 06, 2021, 11:20 PM
Cardiac patients who have undergone the angioplasty procedure in Bangladesh and their families will know the feeling: you are asked to choose the type of stent – a small tube inserted into an artery to keep the passageway open for blood to pass easily. Your choices are “European, American or Chinese.” The price varies according to the country. Of course what is glaring is that there is no local option.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the importance of pharmaceutical products and medical devices to the fore. Although Bangladesh is largely self-reliant in pharmaceutical products, the situation is quite the reverse when it comes to medical devices and equipment.
The local producers are only meeting 10% of the domestic demand. Bangladesh has to depend on the international market for 90% of the medical devices that it needs.
Only four major companies including ANC Medical Device BD Ltd, a concern of the Graphic Machinery and Equipment (GME) group, are producing medical devices in the country, despite large demand.
"The size of Bangladesh's medical device market is Tk 20,000 crore. But the industrialists are not interested to invest in this sector,” ANC Managing Director Dr Chowdury Hasan Mahmud told UNB.
The medical device market in Bangladesh has great prospects for local manufacturers of surgical devices. However, at the moment the country has to import almost all of the medical devices it needs.
And to meet the production gap in producing international standard surgical devices, ANC Medical Devices was set up four years ago to manufacture world-class medical and surgical devices using innovative technology, and technical collaborations with companies from Germany, South Korea, China and India.
ANC became the first company in Bangladesh to produce vacuum blood collection tube. The company plans to meet 100% of local demand for the test tube within three years, ANC Executive Director (Operation) Md Mostafa Zaman said.
The company now has the Directorate General of Drug Administration's permission to produce 22 generic medical devices.
The 22 generic medical devices include different categories of disposable syringes, insulin syringes, vacuum blood collection tubes, disposable needles, infusion set alcohol prep pads, first aid bandages, scalp vein sets or butterfly needles, three types of needles for blood collection, IV cannula, two categories of ad syringes, burette sets, umbilical cord clamps, blood transfusion sets and spinal needles.
ANC is already producing five of the approved products – three types of disposable syringes, alcohol prep pads and vacuum blood collection tubes – for the local market.
Mostafa Zaman said: "ANC is the result of four years of relentless hard work. I am confident that ANC would make a positive change in Bangladesh's medical device market."
Also, Mostafa said, "We plan to produce cardiac stents in Bangladesh within one year."