Expand sales and distribution
Historically, a key obstacle to treating diabetes in Bangladesh has been the availability of insulin. In 2006, the Denmark-based global healthcare company Novo Nordisk undertook a study that found that only 16% of the country’s population (all living in or near the capital of Dhaka) had access to Novo Nordisk products. Its only distributor at the time had just one insulin facility; only 25% of pharmacists in Dhaka stocked insulin; and most doctors and pharmacists lacked proper cooling systems required to keep insulin in stock.
With the study results in hand, Novo Nordisk identified three ways to strengthen its insulin distribution network. First, it switched distributors, increasing the number of distribution points from one central depot in Dhaka to 29 depots across the country. Second, it established a partnership with the Bangladesh Diabetes Association (BADAS) and the World Diabetes Foundation to install proper cooling systems in clinics. More than 310 systems have been installed to date with the aim of reaching 550 clinics by 2017. Third, Novo Nordisk built a local manufacturing facility with Eskayef Bangladesh, a local pharmaceutical company, to produce insulin locally, ensuring a steady supply. These distribution system improvements alone led to a compound annual growth rate in insulin sales of 9.5% in the past decade.
Home page image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer