The pharma industry is exempt from lockdown as it is the maker of essential goods. However, several pharmaceutical companies were unable to operate their plants when the first shutdown was introduced. The pharma units were largely non-operational due to issues related to the relocation of raw materials and workforce.
“The central and state government reviewed the situation, identified bottlenecks and removed them quickly to ensure a constant supply of drugs, especially life-saving drugs such as antibiotics, anti-diabetes and blood pressure pills,” Koshia added.
Pharma companies were not only supported to resume operations but also to scale up production with all precautions in place. Passports were made available to the ferry by their employees and they were helped to purchase raw materials.
As a result, approx. 60% units are operational two weeks ago and almost 75% units are currently functional across the state. These units also work with 75% of their plant capacity, ”I added.
According to the industry, Gujarat has a large share of India’s pharmaceutical production. If production is hampered in the state, it will affect the supply of medicines in the pan-Indian market.
In general, much improvement has been done now. As many as 762 factories are currently operating. When the first lockdown was introduced, pharmaceutical units operated at only 30% capacity, ”said Viranchi Shah, national senior vice president, Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA).
“The state government supported the pharmaceutical industry in solving several problems such as transport, and helped the industry shift production. The proactive steps were taken to ensure that the supply of medicines, especially life-saving medicines, are not inhibited, ”Shah added.