PM asks Pharma industry to work on manufacture of COVID-19 diagnostic Kits on war footing

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 21, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the pharmaceutical industry leaders to work on manufacture of RNA diagnostic kits required for testing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on war footing.

Modi on Saturday interacted with private players via video conferencing. Union Minister of State for Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers, 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, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Bulk Drug Manufacturing Association and Association of Medical Device Industry participated in the interaction.

Modi said that pharma producers and distributors have a crucial role to play in combating the challenge of COVID-19. "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 emphasised.

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.

Modi 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 said that they are committed to maintaining supply of essential medicines and equipment, and are also working on developing vaccines. Health Secretary Preeti Sudan talked about the collaboration with Protective Wear Manufacturing Associations for acquiring Personal Protective Equipment.

Published on March 21, 2020

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