Bangladesh's leading drug manufacturer Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd has become one of a few Asian companies to secure approval from the prestigious regulatory body European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) to produce anti-cancer drugs.
Oncology Manufacturing Facility of Eskayef Pharmaceuticals is the country's first entity that has recently secured approval from the EU GMP, which is recognised by the 30 nations of the EU and considered a passport for entry to the global market.
Eskayef's Oncology Manufacturing Facility can now produce drugs to be injected and administered orally to treat cancer, maintaining the standard of the EU regulator. This recognition will help their drugs enter the EU and other countries.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Bangladesh Ltd Managing Director and CEO Simeen Rahman said people often lose hope when diagnosed with cancer.
However, the disease can be treated and a full recovery is possible with the right treatment, she said.
"But, most of the times treatment is quite expensive. We have seen that families fall upon hard times trying to ensure treatment for their loved ones. That is why we always wanted a situation that would allow a cancer patient to get world-class treatment at lower cost in Bangladesh," Simeen said.
She said Eskayef Oncology has always been working with an aim to produce anti-cancer drugs, believing that treating cancer is possible if world-class medicine is produced.
"We are committed to providing world-class anti-cancer drugs at affordable prices," Simeen said. "We have high-quality oncologists and haematologists. Besides, we are working to bring the latest technology for anti-cancer drugs to Bangladesh."
Medical scientists said Eskayef Pharmaceutical getting approval from the EU GMP is something that the country can be proud of. It will clear any doubts that people may have over cancer treatment in Bangladesh.
National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital Director Prof Qazi Mushtaq Hussain said it is a matter of pride and joy for the country that a Bangladeshi company has received such recognition.
Congratulating Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, he said any confusion over the quality of drug and treatment will now be cleared.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital Radiotherapy and Oncology Department Head Prof Swapan Bandyopadhyay said approval from the EU GMP is indeed a surprising news for the people of Bangladesh. People of the country will get its benefits. This achievement is a big milestone in Bangladesh's pharmaceutical history.
Congratulating Eskayef Pharmaceuticals, he said this will give doctors and people of Bangladesh a lot of confidence in the drug and cancer treatment. He said the use of foreign drugs in cancer treatment is more prevalent in Bangladesh, but those are quite expensive. But it can now be said that people of the country can get Eskayef's quality drugs at affordable prices.
Delta Medical College Hospital Oncology Department Head Prof Kazi Manzur Kader said approval from the EU GMP marks huge progress for the country's pharmaceutical industry. This will benefit the patients and the doctors immensely.
"We are proud that global standard anti-cancer drugs are being produced in Bangladesh. We need to sustain the quality, always," he said.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd Oncology Manufacturing Facility began its journey in 2018 with technological support of a European company. Eskayef Oncology is the country's first entity that is using isolator technology to ensure highest safety at every stage of production. It uses high-quality raw materials imported from Europe.
Eskayef Oncology has 31 service centres where patients and others concerned can get drugs and necessary information. It is now manufacturing drugs for different types of cancers, including breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, blood cancer, renal cancer, hepatocellular cancer and head-neck cancer.