Dec 20Featured ArticleIssue

Healthcare Leader: Aditi Kare Panandikar

Managing Director, Indoco Remedies Limited

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented disruption and impacted all businesses globally. The lockdown across countries created a negative impact on the GDP, leading to a global recession. The pandemic also had major effects on the healthcare and pharma sectors. Before COVID-19 also, the overall economy was facing headwinds both domestically and in key global markets. Nonetheless, many opportunities exist across geographies and product classes for Indian pharmaceutical players to serve the patients across the globe.

The pharma industry joined the team of the medical fraternity, the doctors, nurses, medical staff, government authorities, etc., and worked relentlessly and selflessly to keep everyone safe and spread awareness on the pandemic. While currently there is no definite treatment or cure for this infectious disease and the research for the vaccine is still on, the pharmaceutical industry has provided constant assistance to the  government authorities to address the unmet needs of the patients by making medicines available at affordable prices. It has been impressive to see how fast the industry responded to the outbreak. This shows the industry’s resilience to quickly act and adapt and tackle the challenges efficiently.

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We believe the Indian pharma industry can utilise this crisis of COVID-19 as an opportunity to reframe its global commitments and emerge as a significant player and associate with a large developing market

Despite many odds, our company took all  efforts to ensure continuity in operations and supply chain, both in India and across the world, with all the safety and precautionary measures. Indocoites across various locations rose to the occasion, braving the risk and hardships in reporting to work, whenever possible or contributing
in a meaningful way by working from home (WFH).

Indoco was part of the great initiative by the Indian government to export paracetamol tablets to the UK in its fight against COVID-19 and was granted permission to airlift paracetamol tablets to the UK. The first shipment of paracetamol tablets manufactured at our plant was airlifted from Goa airport on April 12, 2020 by a chartered flight for export to the UK.

India is one of the largest producers of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. This was used in the treatment of COVID-19 during the initial phase of the pandemic. India sent the drug to over 50 countries, including the US.

Many pharma companies developed and launched Favipiravir, an oral antiviral drug approved for the treatment of COVID-19 has been safe and effective in treating mild to moderate cases. Treatment with this drug has led to significant improvement in the time taken for the infection to be cured.

Indoco was already in the prevention of COVID-19 with its brands, Karvol Plus, ATM (Azithromycin), Febrex Plus & Rexidin SRS and is now in the treatment of COVID-19 with the introduction of Fevindo (Favipiravir) 400 & 800 mg tablets, Poviclean Gargle & Zmun CD Chewable Tablets (Immunity Booster with Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 & Zinc).

The company wasted no time in adopting measures to protect the health of its employees and ensure the  business continuity with minimal disruption. Except for the initial few days of the lockdown, all our manufacturing facilities were kept operational. To overcome the manpower shortage, the company recruited over 350 new employees across various locations and in the field during this pandemic. In the wake of new challenges, several different approaches were taken by Indoco to create multiple touchpoints with various stakeholders. Digital mode was effectively utilised to reach and connect with all key stakeholders like doctors, retailers, stockists, as well as our overseas customers. Our objective was to build a much more engaging suite of virtual interaction models, e.g., care-delivery adaptation, patient-support enhancement and supply-and inventory-management innovation. This paved the way for a greater spirit of partnership.

We believe the Indian pharma industry can utilise this crisis of COVID-19 as an opportunity to reframe its global commitments and emerge as a significant player and associate with a large developing market. India’s and the world’s fight against the deadly COVID-19 is still on and we are sure that this phase too shall pass and we shall come out stronger from this crisis!!!

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