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Biologic drugs can be a game-changer: Experts

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Biologic medicines can play a game-changing role in the treatment of diseases like diabetes, arthritis and psoriasis, according to experts.

They stressed the need for building awareness among stakeholders, including doctors and patients, to facilitate the use of such medicines for better treatment of such diseases.

Doctors, officials from regulatory bodies, policymakers and industry experts attended the first-ever biologic summit and shared the positive effects of biologic drugs, terms and conditions of its uses and prospects.

Drug giant Novartis hosted the summit at a city hotel on Thursday.

Consultant physician general, Bangladesh Armed Forces and Directorate General of Medical Services at Dhaka Cantonment Maj Gen Prof Dr Md Azizul Islam, DGDA director Maj Gen Mohammad Yousuf and Dhaka Medical College director Brig Gen Md Nazmul Haque attended as panel members.

Novartis Bangladesh country president Dr Riad Mamun Prodhani made his welcome address at the event.

Prof Sharif Akhteruzzaman, former chairman of the Dept of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Dhaka University, and Dr Patricia Pertel, senior global medical affairs director at Novartis Switzerland, among others, spoke.

The summit disclosed that the first use-cases of biologic medicine, especially monoclonal antibodies, were recorded in early 2000 in Bangladesh.

However, its use as a part of medical treatments has been found in the 19th century in the work, leading to the facilitation of millions of patients.

The experts viewed that the overall medical industry has drastically transformed over the past couple of decades.

From chemical compounds, it shifted to biologics and cell and gene therapy. The future of biologics seems very promising. Yet, the use of biologics in Bangladesh still remains within a bubble for certain challenges.

Biologics show great potential in the near future as more targeted means of medication. Hence, Bangladesh requires preparing quickly to adapt its appropriate implementation.

The summit centred on the basic grounds of biologic medicines, elaborating on its concept and persisting challenges, and opting to ready Bangladesh for its utilisation in the future.

It was the collective goal of all participating specialist doctors, regulators and policymakers to accelerate towards this readiness by sharing valuable opinions and advice.

Dr Prodhani said biologic medicines lead to long-term and effective treatment, urging all the stakeholders to consider the prospects seriously.

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