Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the Government of India has asked the Pharmaceutical associations to furnish the list of types of ancillary units associated with the pharma industry for uninterrupted supply of essential commodities/services.
To act on this, pharma associations have asked the member companies to submit the requested data on a priority basis. And it is likely that the associations will be able to present the list in next the next two to three days.
Recently, the Secretary of DoP wrote a letter to the Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs seeking an intervention and to instruct the state authorities to allow seamless supplies of ancillary materials for finished pharma formulations and courier services in the country.
Vinod Kalani, Working President, Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE) said, “We see, during the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the government is working very proactively and taking action on a priority manner. It has asked all the associations to present the type of ancillary supplies/services required for the pharma industry.”
Commenting on the need of the list, Kalani said, “Due to nationwide lockdown, the industry is facing the biggest challenge in transportation. If it is not addressed immediately, then the industry will face production issues due to lack of ancillary supplies. ”
He also mentioned that transportation across the borders should be allowed for essential commodities/services. Even for smaller consignments, which is operated through courier services should be taken into consideration. Because smaller quantities of APIs, bulk drugs and official communications are managed through courier services only.”
Mahesh Doshi, President, Indian Drugs Manufacturers Association (IDMA) said, “Today, we have sent an email to all our members asking to provide the requested details. This data will help us to make local authorities understand which all units are connected with pharma and need to provide a continuous supply to the pharma Industry. Besides presenting the data to the Department, we will also be sharing the list with the State FDA Control room as well as with State Control room, which will help us in moving our goods.”
He also pointed out that unless ancillary units work smoothly, the pharma industry will not able to supply the medicines.
Replying to a query about if this immediate action is really required when less than a week’s time is left to lift the lockdown, Kalani said, “There are high possibilities of lockdown getting increases for a few more days/weeks. At the time of the lockdown announcement, we (the industry) had the stock of ancillary supplies and that’s why we could manage the supplies of March and April, but in current transportation situation, the industry will face production issue. Hence, each of these measures needs to be taken for uninterrupted supply of essential service/commodities.
Ancillary supplies include packaging material, excipients, which required for manufacturing tablets and capsules, utility consumables like briquettes/ gasses (required to run boilers) and spare parts.