The mosquito repellent cream from Beximco Pharma is arriving simply as dengue circumstances are growing
In November, which is not the usual season for dengue fever, health officials recorded 47% of all dengue cases recorded in 2020
Beximco Pharma is evidently developing a knack for product launches that corresponds to the zeitgeist.
Back in May, when the world was paralyzed by coronavirus fears, Beximco Pharma made headlines around the world for being the first company to launch Remdesivir, the antiviral drug then used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients was promising.
Then, in August, when AstraZeneca and Oxford’s COVID-19 surge were showing the most promise, the local pharmaceutical company announced a collaboration with the Indian Serum Institute, which is also funding the vaccine project, to become the “exclusive distributor” of Oxford’s Covid-19 Vaccine in Bangladesh.
Now that the cases of dengue fever are on the rise, Beximco Pharma has launched a mosquito repellent cream that promises 99 percent protection against the Aedes mosquito, which causes dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika for up to 8 hours, so a press release on Thursday.
The cream called NOMOS costs Tk 120 per tube.
The introduction of NOMOS comes at a time when the sale of mosquito repellants has not yet demonstrated the extraordinary demand that was recorded around this time last year.
The demand for mosquito repellent creams after a massive dengue outbreak was so overwhelming that certain brands’ products were being sold at a premium at their maximum retail price.
“We are currently experiencing fewer dengue cases than last year,” said a doctor at a private hospital and asked for anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
101,354 patients were hospitalized for suspected dengue fever last year, according to the Health Services Directorate-General website.
According to industry insiders, the 2019 outbreak resulted in a 143% increase in mosquito repellent sales compared to 2018 sales.
“Last year there was a rush when people panicked over the dengue outbreak,” said Sabbir Hasan Nasir, general manager of ACI Logistics, which runs the Shwapno supermarket chain.
The demand this year is lower because there are fewer cases of dengue fever. Measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic would also have helped lower dengue cases this year.
“There is no supply bottleneck. Even so, we are prepared for an increase in demand, ”he added.
Last year was unique for mosquito repellants, and sales this year have dropped to normal levels, said Shameem Ahmed Jaigirder, general manager (operations) at Meena Bazar, another supermarket chain.
Popular mosquito repellants sold in Bangladesh are plumes of smoke, aerosols, cream, gel, liquid, and vaporizers.
Their sales can still pick up, however, as health officials recorded 546 cases of dengue infection in the past month, which is not the usual season for dengue, representing 47 percent of the total dengue cases this year.
According to the Health Services Directorate-General, 1,174 people with dengue fever were hospitalized nationwide in the first eleven months of the year, 1,033 of them in Dhaka alone.
The shares of Beximco Pharma, which have been listed since 1986, rose by around 113 percent this year. On Thursday the Beximco Pharma share closed at Tk 142.9, which corresponds to an increase of around 1.8 percent compared to the previous day.
The company achieved a profit of Tk 108 crore between July and September, which was 24.7 percent higher. This happened after the local pharmaceutical company reported a 16.6 percent higher profit of Tk 354.4 crore for the fiscal year ending June 30th.