Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that pharma producers and distributors have a crucial role to play in combating the challenge of COVID-19. He said that not only does the industry need to ensure maintenance of supply lines of essential medicines, medical kits and equipments, but at the same time should try to come up with new and innovative solutions.
He said that the government is committed to helping the industry in maintaining supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), underlining the importance of manufacture of such APIs within the country. He said that in order to ensure production of critical drugs and medical equipment within the country, the government has approved schemes worth Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 4,000 crore respectively.
Prime Minister requested the industry leaders to work on manufacture of RNA Diagnostic Kits for COVID-19 on war footing.
He asked the medicine retailers and pharmacists to be on constant vigil to ensure that black marketing and hoarding of medicines is avoided and supply of essentials maintained. He suggested that wherever feasible, supply of medicines in bulk may be avoided.
Prime Minister said that in this hour of need, it is imperative for the industry to work continuously and also ensure that there is no shortage of workforce in the pharma sector. He suggested exploration of home-delivery model to allow for maintenance of social distancing at pharmacies, and also promotion of usage of digital payment mechanisms to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Pharmaceutical Associations thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership in this time of crisis. The Associations said that they are committed to maintaining supply of essential medicines and equipment, and are also working on developing vaccines. They said that government’s policy announcements for the Pharma sector will give the sector a huge boost.
Prime Minister appreciated the dedication and commitment of the industry and the zeal with which they are working. He said that due to the trust of people in them, they also have an important role to play in dissemination of scientific information to the people.
Pharmaceuticals Secretary highlighted the tireless efforts of the government, working with airport and port authorities to ensure supply of essentials. Health Secretary thanked the Pharmaceutical Associations and said that no shortage of supply has so far been detected, and also talked about the collaboration with Protective Wear Manufacturing Associations.
Union Minister of State for Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Principal Secretary, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Health, Textiles, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Government of India and senior representatives from Pharmaceutical associations including Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, Indian Drug Manufacturer Association, Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Bulk Drug Manufacturing Association and Association of Medical Device Industry participated in the interaction.