COVID-19 broke out in February end in India and the entire nation was under complete lockdown until these restrictions started lifting up in June. All the sectors were badly affected by this move. Nobody ever saw this coming and thus everybody was completely unprepared. So, in order to fight this pandemic, the healthcare industry had to come ahead and give its services. Among them was our Pharmaceutical Industry who played a very important role in combating Coronavirus. Though the entire Pharmaceutical industry faced its drawbacks, it did bring many lessons with it.
India found another army that has been protecting the nation internally but one without a uniform. Our healthcare professionals turned out to be the unrecognized army who gave everything to save the nation from this pandemic. Not every hero wears cape!
Besides facing so many hardships, the pharma industry kept pushing hard to deliver the most required pharma products throughout the nation. Our pharma industry was entirely committed to providing the most needed medicines to those who could not reach out to doctors for medications other than for covid. It served the needs of every person requiring medication not only for covid but other issues that were being ignored by hospitals due to the spread of coronavirus. Since doctors and hospitals refused to deal with patients other than covid patients, pharmacists became the doctors for the general public in such hard times.
So let’s list a few points to be precise as to how exactly COVID-19 impacted Indian Pharmaceutical Industry:
- Manufacturing Shutdown: Though Pharma Manufacturing Units were given relaxations to run manufacturing but it took time to take the approvals from authorities which badly hampered the production process. Workers started leaving for their homes and this forces the manufacturing units to run at barely 10 to 15% of their actual capacity. This led to rising in manufacturing costs with lower output production.
- Restrictions on Movement: Complete shut down of movement led to consignments struck at state borders. Sates started shutting down their borders to prevent themselves from the virus but that resulted in consignments struck at borders unable to reach their destinations.
- Shortage of Raw-Material: Due to movement restrictions, it became difficult to receive the raw material from suppliers leading to delays in manufacturing.
- Difficulty in packaging and printing processes: With printing houses getting shut and other ancillary industries being shut, it was difficult for pharma manufacturers to procure the labeling and packaging material for their products. Again, delaying the production and then delivery.
- Rising Prices: Due to these restrictions, start the hoarding practices and then black marketing, became difficult to procure raw material. Suppliers started hoarding major raw materials critical in the making of life-saving drugs. They saw this as an opportunity to make money. But that resulted in pressure on manufacturing and then delivery of products.
- Shut down of statutory offices: With government offices being shut people were helpless in getting their licenses renewed or patents, or other approvals.
- Rising Demand: Besides various negative impacts, this pandemic also resulted in bringing more and more demand. People became highly health-conscious and were demanding medicinal products to boost their immunity. This led to rising in demand for products that were not even realized to be present in the market.
- Opportunities for Expansion: COVID pandemic also provided opportunities for pharma dealers to expand their business. Many realized this and started home delivery of medicines, and many launched their app for placing digital orders and also use the app for several other features like reminding themselves of routine medicine.
Thus Coronavirus outbreak brought several changes in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. People happily adopted these changes and learned to evolve themselves to be a better provider of services. This teaches us that life is entirely uncertain and anything can happen at any time. So be prepared to face these unplanned circumstances and come out creatively.