KATHMANDU, March 3: The revived Nepal Drugs Ltd (NDL) is going to introduce Cetamol, its once renowned paracetamol tablets, in the Nepali market for a price of one rupee per tablet.
The NDL has already started commercial production of the analgesic-cum-antipyretic from Monday after a week-long trial production.
The NDL is also planning to launch the revived drug brand all over the country after raising the stock to more than one million tablets.
“We have started the mass production of Cetamol tablets, and are planning to launch the tablets after collecting more than one million tablets in our stock,” said Robash Kusam Subedi, general manager of NDL. “The cost for the raw materials is about 57 paisa for one tablet, excluding the costs of power, labor and others. So, we have decided to launch the drug at the cost of one rupee per tablet in the market.”
Subedi said that the available manpower, equipment, and raw materials have allowed the NDL to produce about 100,000 Cetamol tablets daily. It means that after about a week, the NDL will meet the target stock.
The NDL was shut down in 2010 after failing to maintain Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The government decided to revive the NDL in September 2016 under initiation of then Minister for Industry, Nabindra Raj Joshi.
Following this, NDL had re-entered the drug business with the production of oral rehydration salt with brand name Jeevan Jal, from May 2017.
After the production of Cetamol, NDL plans to start production of various other drugs like medicines for blood pressure and diabetes. The NDL is planning to introduce one new medicine every month, according to Subedi.
With a competitive price, Cetamol is set to give a tough challenge to rival paracetamol brands available in the Nepali market, which are chiefly imported from India.
Subedi expects that the NDL’s Cetamol will soon gain a good market, building on the goodwill it had earned in the past when the state-owned company was functioning properly.
Subedi also said that the company has focused on the production of the widely used drug since other pharmaceutical companies in the country avoided producing the drug owing to minimum profits from it.
Analgesic is used to describe a drug that reduces pain, and antipyretic is used to describe a drug that is used to prevent or reduce fever.