Coronavirus Impact on India’s Pharmaceutical Sector – China originated pandemic known as Coronavirus which is also known as COVID-19 has spread all over the world. Being a neighboring country, it has also affected India in many ways. Due to the massive spread of the pandemic, the Honourable Prime Minister of India announced a nationwide lockdown on 24 March 2020. The nationwide lockdown was placed when the positive Coronavirus cases in India reached 500. From 24 March 2020, the lockdown gets extended to battle against the coronavirus and shield the people of the nation. Until now, the lockdown is not over yet because there has been no vaccine to treat the infected patients. The increasing cases of Coronavirus has created so many difficulties to end this lockdown.
Talking about the impact of Coronavirus on the Indian Pharmaceutical sector then it has both ups and downs. Several sectors in the Indian pharmaceutical industry has witnessed unforeseen mount for the demand of products such as Hand Sanitizers, Face masks, Hand Gloves, and many other medications too. However, the Indian pharmaceutical industry also faced disruption in the supply chain of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. Well, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has been a world leader in exporting generic drugs both globally and in domestic markets. In this blog, we will discuss the positive and negative impact of the Coronavirus on the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry during this lockdown duration.
The rising cases of Coronavirus in India have increased the marketing of Hand Sanitizers. The outbreak has boosted the demand for hand sanitizers that the manufacturers have to ramp up their production line to cater to the demand of hand sanitizers and hand wash in the market. Due to massive demand in the market, the shelves of the stores and medical shops run out of stock due to bulk purchasing. But at that time, the local brands snatch away the whole market of top hand sanitizers brand.The pandemic spread has open up avenues for India’s local brands. The local players and regional players have conquered the whole hand sanitizer segment. The high demand for hygiene products in the Indian pharmaceutical market has doubled the supply of products.
To stay safe and fear of Coronavirus has made people rush to medical stores to buy face masks. The spread of coronavirus has made India produce more such personal protective equipment to leverage the growing domestic and global market for face masks. The manufacturers are earning great profit from it. The average price of a manufacturing surgical face mask is around 40-45 paise but due to the rise in demand, they are selling at a much higher price. India’s domestic markets, including wholesale and retail, are nearly 80 to 90 percent dry with a shortage of face masks. The cotton mask market, which was estimated in India at approximately $95 million has suddenly grown to 29 percent due to shortage of masks.
The pandemic has started hitting the Indian pharma market by raising the prices of key ingredients. The prices for Vitamins and Penicillin are now double and triple from its actual price. As per a research survey, the cost of the paracetamol drug has raised to Rs 250-300 kg to 400-450 kg. Due to the lockdown and closure of export from China, the contracted production of Active Ingredient Key results as the less availability and much higher prices for the materials that are required for the generic production.
India is the world’s largest provider of generic drugs. Due to the lockdown, disruption in the supply chain of the APIs may lead to a shortage of essential drugs in India. India is largely dependent on low-cost API from China. Even the current market is also highly dependent on China for many antibiotic APIs.
Well, there is a nationwide lockdown in India. There is a lot of medicine stock that comes from different states and union territories such as Goa, Baddi, and Sikkim. It has become very challenging to reach retailers. The distributors and retailers are facing transportation issues for the supply of medications stock. Pharmacists have to face many problems to meet the necessitates of the people. Though the government has provided some relief and ask all the transportation to do interstate transport movement. They have to produce an n electronic waybill which should be issued by the GST network or the invoice fr easy passage.
The whole world is suffering from the wide spread of this infected virus. During this crucial situation, it is the time to show brotherhood and unity to fight against this pandemic. Stay at home and follow all the important precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from the spread of COVID-19.