Beacon Pharmaceuticals Limited yesterday launched a few anti-cancer drugs, first of its kind in Bangladesh.
Beacon Managing Director Mohammad Ebadul Karim said, "Beacon Pharmaceuticals is the first to produce anti-cancer drugs in the country. The drugs with brand names Fluroxan, Gemoxen, Platixen and Xelpac are already available in the market. Docexan, Xurobin and Filgrast will be made available soon."
The manufacturers said the prices of the locally produced anti-cancer drugs would be 20 to 30 percent less than the imported ones.
Prices of the newly marketed products range from Tk 90 to Tk 12,000, they added.
"The Cisplatin drug which is imported from the Netherlands with the brand name Platocin costs Tk 800 while the same drug produced by Beacon with the brand name Platinex costs Tk 550 per vial," told Monjurul Alam, manager, international marketing of the company to The Daily Star.
One course Pacloitaxel imported from Pfizer Company of the US with the brand name Taxol costs Tk 39,000 while locally manufactured Xelpac costs only Tk 12,000, he said.
The manufacturers also claimed that there are many anti-cancer drugs available in the market and most of them are smuggled from India. Patients get each of the items at Tk 300 only.
Around 12 lakh people across the country are suffering from cancer currently and every year two lakh are newly diagnosed with the disease. The anti-cancer drugs manufactured by Beacon will play an important role in treating such a huge number of patients in the country, said health experts.
Prof Syed Modasser Ali, adviser to the prime minister, was present as chief guest of the programme held at a city hotel. Prof Pran Gopal Datta, vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, presided over the session.