India’s Pharmaceutical industry playing critical role in combating Covid-19

Jaipur: With the ongoing global health crisis, the Indian government has initiated measures to ensure adequate domestic production of raw materials going into pharmaceutical drug manufacturing amid coronavirus outbreak. The decision will help Indian manufacturers reduce their over-dependence on china for key raw materials, said Dr. Sudarshan Jain, Ex MD Abbott Pharma and Secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) during the webinar organized by IIHMR University, Jaipur on the theme “Indian Pharmaceutical Industry – The way Forward’. This webinar was attended by around 400 attendees from across India.He further added that the daily production capacity is enough to meet the current demand for the drug. The companies that manufacture hydroxychloroquine are ramping up their production capacity further. with the 10% production of drug 21 days back, the production is almost 55% now. Apart from lot of challenges, Indian pharma industry along with other companies are overcoming the challenges of supply chain, manufacturing ventilators, developing testing kits and R&D process supporting country to fight Covid -19, together.

Apart from Dr. Sudarshan Jain, the other eminent experts included Dr. S D Gupta Chairman, IIHMR University; Dr Pankaj Gupta, President IIHMR University; Dr. Gauri Chaudhary, Pharma Expert, Author of ‘the Perfect Pill’; Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Finance Professional and Educator, Cricket Commentator & Quiz Master; Mr. Soumitra Das (Global HR Leader); and Dr. Saurabh Kumar ,Dean SPM, IIHMR University.

Dr. S.D. Gupta, Chairman, IIHMR University, who is also a member of the CM advisory panel for Covid-19, said that early intervention of union and state government played a crucial role in combating the challenge of COVID-19. The mortality rate in India is just 2.5% with 25% of patients who have already been recovered. He also made a suggestion of testing old and existing drugs to treat the infectious virus as new drug or vaccine cannot be developed as this time.”

Dr. Pankaj Gupta, President, IIHMR University, Jaipur, said “The pharma producers and distributors have a crucial role to play in combating the challenge of COVID-19. The industry needs to ensure maintenance of supply lines of essential medicines, medical kits and equipment’s.”

Dr. Gauri Chaudhary, Pharma Expert and Author of ‘the Perfect Pill’, said that the industry should focus on the good things coming out of this pandemic. This is the Y2K moment for India Pharma Industry as there is humongous rise in e-consultations, telemedicine’s, e-prescriptions and other such online health and wellness related services, which were not happening in past. With 5G technology promising to revolutionize healthcare including diagnostics and real-time interaction between doctors and patients, pharma industry should make most out of this moment by establishing innovative models in healthcare. She also suggested students, who are attending the webinar to do more and more Covid-19 projects which will help industry in research and development.

Mr. Soumitra Das, Global HR Leader commented on the existing hiring, talent acquisitions and recruitment process which are going radical change post pandemic. India’s pharma industry should implement new patterns of hiring. Changing the mindset of the industry against the employees working from home, up skilling the talent by providing distance learning and online courses, need for implementing remote performance monitoring, collaborating with employees on regular basis and redefining leadership are some of the steps, industry should take to be a player in this scenario rather than becoming a victim.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the world is facing a disastrous situation which it has never faced before. The global economy could shrink in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting almost all economic sectors. Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Finance Professional and Educator, who is also a speaker at the webinar, said that there is a need to use dead funds lying with pharma companies for building a robust tech ecosystem by giving opportunities to startups for implementing technologies like AI and blockchain. This will eventually help in developing research based data.”

Dr. Saurabh Kumar, Associate Professor & Dean, School of Pharmaceutical Management, IIHMR University said, “Amidst this gloomy situation prevailing in the world, Indian Pharmaceutical Industry has come up in an unprecedented way by giving rise to Indian molecular diagnostic industry. Students, studying public health should certainly look for career in this futuristic industry.”