COVID-19 restrictions have severely hampered multinational pharma companies who rely on India for generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients for the last month. With restrictions beginning to ease up, some manufacturing hubs are back in operation.
After over a month of lockdown and significantly reduced manufacturing capacity, the international pharma industry can begin to look once again to India, particularly for generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The restrictions put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly easing up and Indian facilities are returning to their previous levels of output, according to reports by Business Standard.
The region of Baddi, Himachal Pradesh is home to the manufacturing operations of multinational companies such as Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s and Abbott. Prior to the confinement restrictions, Baddi was responsible for 35 to 40 per cent of the country’s pharmaceutical production. However, a number of facilities there either shuttered or slowed production to as low as 15 per cent as India moved into lockdown.
The Indian government is currently making one-time allowances for employees to transfer to the region to keep pharma production facilities running, allowing major manufacturing hubs to open their doors and resume production activity. The government aims to ramp up domestic production in order to avoid reliance on active pharmaceutical ingredients imported from China.
The sharp decline in pharma production in India caused concern in the US about drug shortages that have impacted hospitals’ ability to treat COVID-19 patients on ventilators with necessary anaesthetic drugs. The US FDA went so far as to allow hospitals facing dire shortages to temporarily source copycat generic drugs.