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Covid-19 & its impact on Pharma Industry

Literature suggests covid-19 outbreak can worsen many business-like tourism and entertainment, however there is positive impact of covid-19 on pharmaceutical industry. India is 3rd largest producer of drugs in terms of volume and vaccine production globally over 60 percent. The pharmaceutical industry is working tirelessly for human safety. There are many challenges faced by the Pharmaceutical industry to fulfill the increasing demand of drug products, shortage of manpower, and challenges in clinical trials. As countries and industries continue to cope with the unparalleled challenges due to covid-19 a specific area has certainly been surrounding the pharmaceutical industry.

Until the coronavirus outbreak 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients came from china. Due to Covid-19 the import of raw materials from China has stopped, if not resumed soon the prices of medicines will go high in a few days.Most of them are purchasing raw materials at double the price,despite making medicines there is no sale as people are not willing to buy medicines which are too high.Pharmaceutical Company in India used to import bulk drugs or pharmaceutical ingredients from China which is presently stopped due to Covid-19. In India the Government has banned the export of 26 medicines to avoid shortage of medicines in the country. The ban of such medicines shows clearly that the situation is critical.India's drug trade completely depends on China as it used to sell API(Pharmaceutical ingrediants) at cheaper price.Now, when the API supply is hampered because of the lockdown, the companies are buying APIs at higher prices from elsewhere and this is directly affecting the cost of medicines.The traders’ burden is the fact that even though medicines in the retail market are not sold at an increased price, they have become costlier in the wholesale market.

How expensive is API?

The API of the most common drug used for fever paracetamol was Rs 265 kilo two months ago, now the price has gone up to Rs 465 kilo. The surge in the prices is 60 percent. The increased price of the API makes it evident that the drug-making companies are making costly deals. When companies get costly goods to make medicines, the impact will also filter down to their products. Meanwhile, currently, companies and traders are showing the effect. If the situation continues, the increased prices of medicines can also upset the common man in the days to come.The people are not willing to buy medicines at high prices.

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