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The pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh plays a pivotal role in the national economy, surpassing many other domestic sectors. Presently, it fulfills 98% of the country’s medicinal demands and maintains an impressive global presence by exporting medicines to over 160 nations. The domestic pharmaceutical market in Bangladesh is valued at approximately TK 13,000 crore, while the international market exceeds TK 650 crore. With a growth rate exceeding 9%, Bangladesh currently hosts more than 269 pharmaceutical enterprises, including 169 actively producing medicines.

In Bangladesh, a significant portion of the population purchases medicines from local pharmacies without specific brand preferences, lacking knowledge about the quality of pharmaceutical products. To assist consumers in identifying the best options, we present an overview of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh.

Furthermore, it’s noteworthy that Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector has experienced substantial growth, with an average annual growth rate of 15.6%. In the fiscal year 2020-21, it achieved an export earning of $169 million, reinforcing its position as a key player in the global pharmaceutical market. Bangladesh is ranked 71st globally in pharmaceutical exports, a testament to the industry’s remarkable progress and contribution to the nation’s economy. Additionally, Bangladesh offers online doctor consultations for critical health conditions and emergencies, further enhancing access to healthcare services.

 1.Square Pharmaceuticals

 Pharmaceutical Companies in Bangladesh
Head Office of Square Pharmaceuticals 

Square Pharmaceuticals Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh, has its roots dating back to 1958 when it was founded by Samson H. Chowdhury and his associates, Ratna Patra, Tapan Chowdhury, and Kazi Harunar Rashid. In 1991, this pharmaceutical manufacturing enterprise transitioned into a public limited company, subsequently debuting on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 1995. Square Pharmaceuticals currently encompasses an extensive range of pharmaceutical products, spanning from tablets to syrups, capsules, injections, infusions, suppositories, and insulin. In addition to pharmaceuticals, the company diversifies its production to include basic chemicals, animal health products, agro-vet items, and pesticides. The company’s portfolio comprises 669 different types of pharmaceutical products, along with 74 agro-vet products, 32 pesticides, 14 pellets, and 8 basic chemicals.

Square Pharmaceuticals embarked on its international journey in 1987 by exporting antibiotics and various pharmaceutical products. Presently, it exports medications to 42 countries across Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. Notably, Square Pharmaceuticals Limited achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Bangladeshi company to establish a manufacturing plant in Nairobi, Kenya, at an investment of BDT 170 crore. Currently, the company employs approximately 10,000 individuals.

 Pharmaceutical Companies in Bangladesh

Square Pharmaceuticals Limited, a flagship entity within the Square Group, is widely recognized as the premier pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh. Its journey, which commenced in 1958, has translated into high-performance not only in Bangladesh but also in numerous countries worldwide. Samson H. Chowdhury, along with his three friends, was instrumental in the company’s inception.

With its foray into international markets beginning in 1987, Square Pharmaceuticals initiated exports of antibiotics and medicines, reaching destinations in Europe, Asia, Central America, Africa, South America, and Australia. The company currently sustains a workforce of around 7,390 employees.

Square Pharmaceuticals’ mission centers on delivering top-notch, health-enhancing medicines to the populace at equitable prices. Furthermore, the company remains steadfast in its commitment to adhering to business management regulations, ensuring the welfare of shareholders, stakeholders, and society at large.

2. Incepta Pharmaceutical Ltd.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Incepta pharmaceuticals

Incepta Pharmaceutical Ltd. stands as a flagship pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh, commencing its operations in Dhaka in 1999 under the chairmanship of Abdul Muktadir. The company operates two manufacturing facilities located in Savar and Dhamrai, situated 35 and 53 kilometers away from the capital city, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Incepta reaches both rural and urban areas across Bangladesh, boasting an extensive distribution network of 23 large depots. Furthermore, it extends its reach to 67 countries worldwide, supplying a wide array of pharmaceutical products.

Incepta Pharmaceutical Ltd. primarily manufactures diverse medications, including capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, eye drops, lotions, gels, creams, ampoules, powder for suspension, dry powder vials, human vaccines, and lyophilized injections. Since its inception, Incepta has been dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of the medical community in Bangladesh by introducing new and innovative products.

Ranked as the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the country, Incepta commands a substantial market share of 10.21% within the pharmaceutical industry of Bangladesh. Founded in 1999 as part of the Impress Group, Incepta Pharmaceutical Ltd. has two sister concerns: Incepta Vaccine and Neocare. In addition to its wide product range, Incepta specializes in producing medicines such as sustained-release tablets, quick-mouth dissolving tablets, effervescent tablets, and insulin formulations.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Manufacturing operations take place at the company’s plants in Savar and Dhamrai. With an employee base of around 10,000 individuals, Incepta manages its distribution network through 28 depots across the country. Beyond Bangladesh, Incepta exports its pharmaceuticals to 78 countries worldwide, underscoring its global presence. The company continues to focus on introducing novel and innovative products to the market.

Incepta and its sister concerns are engaged in manufacturing an array of products, including human vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, biotech products, hormones, natural products, animal health products, hygiene products, and hospital devices. As of January 2021, The Daily Star reported an annual turnover of BDT 2,755 crore for Incepta Pharmaceutical.

3. Beximco Pharmaceuticals LTD.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Beximco pharmaceuticals

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., recognized as the flagship entity of the Beximco Group, is also known as Beximco Pharma within Bangladesh. The company’s establishment dates back to 1976, with its operational activities commencing in 1980. The esteemed position of Managing Director is held by Nazmul Hasan Papon. The company’s manufacturing facility is strategically located near the capital city of Dhaka, covering a sprawling area of 22 acres.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. specializes in producing a diverse array of dosage forms, including capsules, tablets, liquids, creams, intravenous fluids, suppositories, ointments, ophthalmic drops, metered-dose inhalers, sterile ophthalmics, prefilled syringes, lyophilized injectables, and large volume parenteral products, among others. Presently, the company boasts a portfolio exceeding 500 products, spanning a wide spectrum of therapeutic segments and featuring high-tech specialized offerings. These medicines have garnered recognition from regulatory authorities not only in the USA, European Union, Australia, Brazil, and Canada but also in various other regions, propelling them to considerable success in the global market.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

In 1976, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. emerged as a subsidiary of the BEXIMCO Group, a venture initiated by the Rahman brothers, A.S.F. Rahman and Salman F. Rahman. During its formative years, the company imported drugs from Upjohn in the USA and Bayer in Germany. However, by 1980, through licensing agreements, Beximco Pharma transitioned into a manufacturing enterprise, producing these drugs domestically. Today, Beximco ranks as a prominent pharmaceutical manufacturer and exporter in Bangladesh, specializing in the production of generic drugs, including Intravenous Fluids, Therapeutic Nutrition Products, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). The company’s extensive portfolio comprises more than 300 generics across various therapeutic segments.

Napa, the nation’s most popular painkiller, stands as one of Beximco’s flagship products. Within the domestic pharmaceutical sector, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. holds the position of the third-leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, boasting a market share of 8.39 percent. Beximco extends its global reach by exporting products to over 50 countries, encompassing regions like the USA, European Union, Australia, and Canada. The company’s workforce comprises more than 5,000 full-time employees.

Listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, Beximco reported a total revenue exceeding BDT 2,949 crore for the fiscal year 2020-21, with domestic sales amounting to Tk 2,633 crore and exports exceeding Tk 312 crore. Notably, Beximco Pharmaceuticals holds the distinction of being the first Bangladeshi company listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Additionally, the company owns an 85.22-percent stake in Nuvista Pharma Limited and a 54.6-percent stake in Sanofi Bangladesh Limited.

 4. Opsonin Pharma Ltd.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Opsonin pharmaceuticals

Opsonin Pharma Limited, a prominent and modern pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh, embarked on its journey in 1956, courtesy of its founder, Abdul Khaleque Khan. Currently, it stands as the fourth-largest player in the pharmaceutical industry, commanding a 5.54 percent market share in terms of medicine sales within the nation. While Opsonin primarily focuses on human health products, it also produces pharmaceuticals for the animal health sector. The company boasts an extensive range of 428 brands, comprising 393 generic drugs, available in diverse dosage forms such as capsules, tablets, injections, syrups, infusions, and suppositories.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Situated along the Kirtonkhola River, Opsonin’s sprawling 500-acre manufacturing plant is complemented by a network of 32 regional offices spanning the country. Beyond serving the domestic market, the company extends its reach to 16 countries across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, all integral parts of Opsonin’s dynamic export portfolio.

 5. Reneta Limited

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Reneta pharmaceuticals

Renata Limited is a prominent pharmaceutical and animal health product company in Bangladesh, well-regarded for its contributions to the industry. Its origins trace back to 1972 when it operated as Pfizer Limited. Today, under the leadership of CEO Sayed S Kaiser Kabir, it ranks as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. In 1993, Pfizer Limited transferred ownership to local shareholders in Bangladesh, leading to the rebranding of the company as Renata Limited.

Renata Limited boasts a market share of 4.97 percent, securing the fifth position among Bangladesh’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers. The company manufactures its diverse product portfolio at ten factories across three manufacturing sites within Bangladesh. In addition to catering to both rural and urban markets, Renata has expanded its reach beyond borders, exporting pharmaceuticals to countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guyana, Afghanistan, Belize, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Honduras, Hong Kong, Kenya, Thailand, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

With a network of 19 depots nationwide, Renata efficiently distributes its medicines to local and global customers. Among its popular products are Maxpro, Fenadine, Algin, Furosef, Orser, and Zithrin. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the company achieved a net turnover of BDT 2,925 crore. Renata Limited’s workforce of 8,000 includes professionals spanning doctors, chemists, microbiologists, pharmacists, engineers, and others.

07. ACME Laboratories Ltd.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of ACME pharmaceuticals

ACME Laboratories Ltd. ranks among the esteemed pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh and is a part of the ACME Group, which embarked on its journey in 1954. The company is under the capable leadership of Mizanur Rahman Sinha as Managing Director and Nagina Afzal Sinha as Chairperson. ACME has garnered significant recognition in Bangladesh for its production of world-class and high-quality pharmaceutical products.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Presently, ACME manufactures an extensive range of over 500 different types of dosages, encompassing cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, anti-infective, CNS, anti-diabetic, and respiratory disease medications, among others. The company’s ability to provide products at equitable prices in the local market has facilitated its smooth entry into the international arena. With a dedicated and professional workforce, ACME is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of Bangladesh and other countries across the globe. Over several years, the company has built a strong reputation by exporting its products to regions including South East Asia, Central America, and Africa.

08. ACI Pharmaceuticals

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of ACI pharmaceuticals

ACI Limited stands as one of Bangladesh’s largest and leading pharmaceutical companies. The company embarked on its journey under the name ACI Limited in 1992, with Mr. M. Anis Ud Dowla as the Chairman and Dr. Arif Dowla as the Managing Director. ACI, or Advanced Chemical Industries, operates through four distinct segments: Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Brands, Agribusiness, and Retail Chain Shops.

Over the course of nearly three decades, ACI Limited has firmly established itself as a prominent pharmaceutical player in Bangladesh, distinguished by its commitment to producing innovative and dependable pharmaceutical products. Presently, the company employs a workforce of over 5,000 individuals across the country. ACI achieved a pioneering milestone in Bangladesh by introducing the concept of the first ISO 9001-certified quality management system in 1995.

Advanced Chemical Industries, commonly known as ACI Pharmaceuticals, assumes the roles of a manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of pharmaceutical and chemical products within Bangladesh. It operates under the umbrella of its parent company, ACI Ltd., which engages in business across four key segments: Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Brands, Agribusiness, and Retail Chain Shops. ACI Pharmaceuticals, known for its wide-ranging pharmaceutical offerings, commands a market share of 4.43%.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

The company’s journey commenced in 1992 as a subsidiary of ACI Limited. Originally founded in 1968 as the UK-based Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, ACI Limited underwent a transformation in 1992, renaming itself ACI Limited after transferring all of its shares to local shareholders.

ACI Pharmaceuticals Limited, a trailblazer in Bangladesh, was the first company to introduce the ISO 9001-certified quality management system in 1995. The company’s product portfolio encompasses 387 different types of medications, including tablets, capsules, injections, infusions, insulin, and suppositories.

ACI operates a manufacturing plant in Narayanganj, spanning an area of 11.5 acres, and maintains a network of 18 warehouses across the country. A dedicated team of approximately 235 skilled workers ensures the production of quality medicines for the company. ACI Pharmaceuticals currently employs about 5,000 individuals. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the company recorded a total revenue of BDT 1,224 crore. Since 1999, ACI has embarked on a journey of exporting its products beyond national borders, currently serving customers in 30 countries worldwide.

09. Aristopharma Ltd.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Aristopharma pharmaceuticals

Aristopharma Ltd. stands as one of the most renowned pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh, embarking on its journey in 1986. Since its inception, the company has consistently delivered innovative and dependable products to the country’s populace at fair and reasonable prices.

The manufacturing facility of Aristopharma is strategically situated in Shampur-Kadamtali I/A, located 10 kilometers away from the heart of Dhaka, the central city. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and modern equipment, this facility is well-prepared to cater to both local and international pharmaceutical requirements.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Aristopharma Ltd. boasts a diverse product portfolio, encompassing various dosage forms such as antipyretics, vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, NSAIDs, antiulcerants, steroids, antispasmodics, cardiovascular medications, antidiabetics, antipsychotics, antiemetics, antiseptics, and more.

10. Drug International Limited

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of DRUG pharmaceuticals

Drug International Limited holds its position among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. The company’s formation dates back to 1974 when it was established as a private limited company, registered under the joint-stock company register. Subsequently, in 1983, the company made its mark in Bangladesh by introducing an oral solid dose plant.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Since its inception, Drug International Limited has remained steadfast in its commitment to producing high-quality products, meticulously adhering to the stringent manufacturing guidelines of major international regulatory bodies such as the World Health Organization. Notably, the company holds the distinction of being the first in Bangladesh to manufacture soft capsules with special absorption and retention properties akin to vitamins. Drug International Limited manufactures a wide array of dosage forms, including syrups, suspensions, soft gelatin capsules, regular capsules, tablets, creams, suppositories, and ointments.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Popular pharmaceuticals

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a prominent name in the pharmaceutical landscape of Bangladesh. Established with a vision to provide affordable and high-quality healthcare solutions, this renowned company has made significant contributions to the country’s pharmaceutical industry. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the history, achievements, products, innovations, and the overarching impact of Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. on the healthcare sector in Bangladesh and beyond.

A Rich History:

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. embarked on its remarkable journey in 2005, under the visionary leadership of its Founder and Managing Director, Mr. Mohammad Abul Kalam. With a commitment to improving the quality of life for millions, Mr. Kalam laid the foundation for a pharmaceutical enterprise that would soon earn recognition and trust.

State-of-the-Art Facilities:

At the heart of Popular Pharmaceuticals’ success lies its cutting-edge manufacturing facilities. The company boasts modern, cGMP-compliant production units equipped with advanced technology and equipment. These facilities ensure the production of pharmaceuticals that meet global quality standards.

Quality Assurance:

Quality is the cornerstone of Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The company adheres rigorously to international quality standards and follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. This unwavering dedication to quality assurance has earned Popular Pharmaceuticals recognition as a reliable producer of safe and effective medicines.

Product Portfolio:

Popular Pharmaceuticals offers an extensive range of pharmaceutical products encompassing various therapeutic categories. From life-saving medications to wellness-enhancing supplements, the company’s diverse product portfolio caters to a broad spectrum of healthcare needs. Key product categories include:

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Prescription Medicines: 

  • Popular Pharmaceuticals produces a wide array of prescription drugs, including antibiotics, cardiovascular medications, anti-diabetics, and more. These medications play a crucial role in the management of various medical conditions.
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products: The company offers an assortment of OTC products, including pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, and vitamins. These readily accessible medications provide relief from common ailments.
  • Specialized Pharmaceuticals: Popular Pharmaceuticals is at the forefront of producing specialized pharmaceuticals, such as biotechnology-based drugs and niche therapies, addressing specific healthcare challenges.
  • Innovative Formulations: The company continually innovates its dosage forms, introducing user-friendly options like oral dissolvable tablets, effervescent tablets, and more. These innovations enhance patient compliance and treatment outcomes.
  • Veterinary Pharmaceuticals: Popular Pharmaceuticals extends its commitment to animal health by producing a range of veterinary medicines, contributing to the well-being of livestock and pets.

Research and Development (R&D):

Innovation is the lifeblood of Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The company maintains a dedicated research and development division staffed with experienced scientists and researchers. This team focuses on developing novel formulations and improving existing products. The company’s commitment to R&D has resulted in the introduction of innovative medicines that address evolving healthcare challenges.

Global Reach:

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is not confined to serving the local market alone. The company has expanded its footprint beyond Bangladesh, exporting its pharmaceutical products to numerous countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. This global outreach underscores Popular Pharmaceuticals’ commitment to enhancing healthcare on a global scale.

A Commitment to Sustainability:

Beyond pharmaceutical excellence, Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is deeply committed to environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The company ensures that its operations align with eco-friendly practices and actively participates in initiatives that benefit the community and environment.

Awards and Accolades:

The pharmaceutical industry has recognized Popular Pharmaceuticals’ unwavering dedication to quality and innovation. The company has received numerous awards and accolades for its contributions to healthcare, underscoring its status as a leader in the field.

A Vision for the Future:

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. envisions a future where access to high-quality healthcare is a fundamental right for all. The company’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability propels it forward on this mission. With a dynamic team and a steadfast focus on improving healthcare outcomes, Popular Pharmaceuticals is poised to continue shaping the pharmaceutical landscape in Bangladesh and making a positive impact on global healthcare.

12. Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh
Head Office of Healthcare pharmaceuticals

Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited, also known as HPL, currently holds the sixth position among the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in Bangladesh, commanding a notable market share of 4.57% within the pharmaceutical market of the country. Its journey commenced in 1988 when it partnered with Roche (Bangladesh) Limited, forming a company known as Healthcare Distribution Limited. It was in 1996 when Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited decided to take a significant step by establishing its own pharmaceutical plant. Initially, HPL’s primary focus was the manufacturing of Roche products imported from Switzerland, alongside some locally-produced generics intended for the domestic market.

 pharmaceutical companies in bangladesh

Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited, often referred to as HPL, has a history of importing Roche products for the local market until 2001. Presently, HPL extends its reach beyond Bangladesh’s borders by exporting a range of generic drug brands 

to markets in Asia, Africa, and the Commonwealth. Notably, Sergel, a well-known medication for acidity, is one of the products offered by Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. The company’s product portfolio comprises 120 generic and 210 branded products, spanning various drug forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, dry syrups, creams, ointments, and gels.

In addition to its extensive distribution network within Bangladesh, Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Limited operates 13 storehouses strategically positioned across the country. Currently, the company employs approximately 800 dedicated individuals to support its operations and growth.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Are these companies in compliance with international quality standards?

Yes, all the companies listed here strictly adhere to international quality standards and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines.

Do these companies export their products beyond Bangladesh?

Yes, most of these companies export their pharmaceutical products to various countries around the world.

Which company holds the title of being the oldest among the top 10?

ACME Laboratories Ltd. claims the distinction of being the oldest among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh.

Are these companies actively engaged in research and development?

Yes, research and development constitute integral components of these companies’ operations, leading to the introduction of new and innovative medicines.

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