Indian Pharma industry is producing enough stocks of essential medicines particularly HCQ to meet both domestic demand and to meet export obligations. The production and transportation is being ensured throughout the country by the Department with help of State/UT administrations. This position emerged after a Video Conference (VC) held here today under chairmanship of Secretary of Department of Pharmaceuticals, Dr P D Vaghela to review the operations and issues of the pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry. The VC was attended by JS (Policy) Mr Navdeep Rinwa and the representatives of various associations of manufacturers of drugs and medical devices including IPA, IDMA, OPPI, BDMA, AiMeD, MTaI, Pharmexcil, CII, FICCI and All India Association of Chemists and Druggists.
Industry gave its feedback on typical issues faced by industry at Baddi(HP), Zirakpur(Punjab), Daman & Silvassa and the in the Northeast. Zirakpur is the main distribution centre from where medicines are supplied to the whole of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Laddakh. Similarly Baddi, Daman and Silvassa are important centres of Pharmaceuticals production. The coordinated efforts of various departments of central government and state governments ensured in resolving major issues in supplies of medicines in the North East. Secretary informed the industry that Department of Pharmaceuticals is in constant touch with the industry, states and the other departments through email, whatsapp groups, control room set up in the DoP as well as in the NPPA and through VCs in order to get to know their issues and quickly address those by taking up with relevant authorities.
The industry representatives expressed happiness on Union Home Ministry’s advisory issued on 12.4.2020 to facilitate the pharma sector in these difficult times. However, they put forward some suggestions such as the need to declare courier services as essential services given their important role in delivery of medicines including those of diabetes, anti-cancer and other high value drugs. The need to allow all ancillary services and products required for smooth running of Pharmaceutical industry was stressed upon. The problem of congestion of JNPT port and Mumbai airport was also specifically mentioned. Dr Vaghela exhorted everyone to do their best so that uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical devices in all parts of the country is ensured. AIOCD was asked to ensure that medicines which require prescription by law should not be dispensed by any chemist without prescription. AIOCD assured full cooperation of all the distributors and chemists in the country. Secretary thanked all the associations for their excellent efforts in maintaining supplies of medicines during the lockdown and assured full support from the government in addressing their genuine difficulties’