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Nepal Drugs Limited Resumes Paracetamol Production

Image Courtesy: Setopati

Nepal Drugs Limited (NDL) has resumed production of paracetamol from Monday, 26th February.

Why it matters:

  • NDL has the capacity of producing 80 million units of paracetamol tablets annually and each tablet produced by the NDL is said to cost Rs. 1.
  • In the first phase of testing, it will start producing around 80,000 units of tablets although it was said to produce around 320,000 units of tablets in one batch.

The Backstory:

  • The state-owned pharmaceutical company established in 1972 is the oldest pharmaceutical company manufacturing allopathic drugs.
  • It shut down eight years ago after failing to adopt good manufacturing practices (GMP) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • The company was revived after the Cabinet approved the Industry Ministry’s proposal to bring it back to life in September 2016. It resumed its operation with the production of jeewan-jal, an oral rehydration salt (ORS).
  • The government last year had decided to provide Rs. 146,400,000 in a loan for the operation of the company.
  • The company has also installed 27 more quality testing equipment as per the new technology to produce drugs as per the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Certification.
  • The company had produced around 120 types of drugs before its shutdown.

 What they are saying:

  • “NDL had aimed to produce paracetamol last September. However, it took some additional time as the machine arrived here late,” General Manager of NDL, Dr. Robhas Kushum Subedi said.
  • “Commercial production of cetamol is beginning today,” Subedi said, “But we will not send the products to the markets until we produce 1,000,000 unit tablets.”
  • Subedi said NDL had been holding talks with the government for a loan to increase its production capacity. Currently, the company owes Rs. 1.16 billion to the government including a Rs. 64.8 million loan that it received to revive the production plant last year.
  • As per NDL, it has planned to utilize its full production capacity of 80 million tablets annually. Demand for Paracetamol made by NDL stands at 100-150 million tablets per year, according to Subedi. “Considering the high demand, we have also planned to increase production.”

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