Pharma sector diversifying with products to fight coronavirus
To ensure a constant supply of hand sanitizer, masks and infrared thermometers, the Government of India has roped in pharmaceutical products as essential commodities
New Delhi: With several national and international recommendations confirming that the coronavirus can be killed through the usage of sanitisers containing at least 70 per cent alcohol, more pharmaceutical companies are stepping in the new trade.
To ensure a constant supply of hand sanitizer, masks and infrared thermometers, the Government of India has roped in pharmaceutical products as essential commodities.
Although many pharma companies are coming forward with the in-demand products, they are also experiencing heat amidst several challenges.
Morepen Laboratories Ltd has created non-contact infrared thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitisers, hand washes, hand rubs and face masks, all under its umbrella brand.
Sushil Suri, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Morepen Laboratories Ltd told ANI: "In this difficult time, we are gearing to keep the momentum up. At the industry level, the factory should keep working because everybody needs medical supply. Therefore, we cannot afford to close the factory."
"We do have a lot of exports but it is also affected as logistics remains the main issue during this crisis due to the pandemic. Things that were earlier available in just 24 hours are taking three to four weeks' time. Even though the government has said that customs would open round the clock, there are still operational difficulties. However, despite all difficulties, the steps taken by the Government of India are remarkable," added Suri.
Morepen Laboratories Ltd has conducted antibody testing and if these get approval from the government and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the company is ready to go ahead and support the country.
"For antibody testing, our stand is that we have done some groundwork and is stuck because of logistic issues. Once the product is approved by the ICMR and the government wants to go ahead with anti-body testing at a mass scale, we will be ready to support," said Suri.
At present, the biggest crisis is "to keep the ball rolling" he added.
Recently, in a major success, the pharmaceutical company also received the license to manufacture hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) from the State Drug Controller of Himachal Pradesh last week for its Baddi plant in the State and is working towards commercialising the production of HCQ in both API as well as tablets form.
Presently, India in the extended phase of lockdown has 17,000 plus confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country with 559 deaths and 2,824 people cured and discharged so far.