Eskayef to make insulin cartridges in Bangladesh

Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, one of the country's top pharmaceutical companies, has set up manufacturing facility to produce Novo Nordisk's insulin cartridges, a positive development for the millions of local diabetic patients. This will be the first plant in Bangladesh, where insulin cartridges of any international brand would be made.

The state-of-the-art production plant was inaugurated yesterday aiming to start supplying the insulin penfills by the third quarter of next year following successful trials and approval from the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA).

Eskayef Pharmaceuticals has set up the plant in its Tongi production site with technical cooperation from Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest insulin maker.

People with diabetes use insulin pens to inject insulin, a vital hormone for people who have the disease. They contain a cartridge filled with insulin which can be replaced once finished. Due to its handy characteristics, the use of insulin pens is gaining popularity.

Addressing the inauguration at the plant, AK Azad, national professor and president of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, said, "In case of insulin production, Eskayef is a pioneer in the country. So, we [the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh] should have more collaborations."

Terming access to insulin a human right for diabetic patients, he hoped that Eskayef would provide insulin to the millions of diabetic patients in need at an affordable cost.

Mohammad Yousuf, director-general of the DGDA, appreciated the collaboration and emphasised the role of the DGDA in ensuring compliance in the pharmaceutical sector.

Winnie Estrup Petersen, ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh, praised the initiative of Eskayef and Novo Nordisk, highlighted the commitment of Denmark towards Bangladesh and put focus on sustainability and green transformation as well.

Simeen Rahman, group CEO of Transcom Ltd, which owns Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, said her company's unwavering commitment has enabled Eskayef to manufacture 30 million insulin vials over the years that have served diabetic patients in Bangladesh.

"This inauguration today is not just a milestone for Novo Nordisk and Eskayef. I believe it is a great step taken together by the two organisations, which treasure the same core values and a belief in Bangladesh."

She also mentioned that Eskayef was committed to driving international quality.

In his presentation, Rajarshi Dey Sarkar, vice president and general manager of Novo Nordisk Bangladesh, said around five million diabetic patients in Bangladesh use insulin produced by their company, which meets half the country's demand.

Since 2012, Eskayef has been producing Novo Nordisk's insulin vials in its plant.

Bangladesh has about 13 million adults living with diabetes and the number is estimated to be around 22 million by 2045, according to the International Diabetes Federation.