The dilemma of HCQ production
Will Indian pharma be able to overcome the challenges it faces in the COVID -19 crisis?
Indian pharma which has less than 20 players in the HCQ formulation ( tablet ) market which is working day and night to enhance supplies of HCQ tablets for its Corona virus patients in India.
Interestingly, HCQ is no more a primary anti-malarial drug. It is mostly used globally to treat some immunological diseases like Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Indian drug formulators export 80-85 per cent of the production to almost all parts of the world, as global pharma majors more or less stopped large scale production of this low cost molecule due to lack of demand.
However with the large scale demand of this drug across the world for a “ prophylactic use” in the COVid pandemic, Indian pharma id faced with a dual challenge of catering to both domestic and global demand.
It needs to seen that raw material/ API of this medicine has very less suppliers in India . The raw material procurement for this medicine has been traditionally done from China where the number of suppliers are at least 50.
Indian government has currently banned and placed strict regulations on all international shipments particularly China .Raw material costs for this drug varies from as low as RS 5000/- per kg to Rs 20,000/- per kg and same fluctuates in a daily basis.
Indian pharma companies are requesting government intervention to airlift raw material supplies of HCQ from China to cater to the rising global demand.
So where are we?
We go to the country to take a raw material from where a deadly virus has originated.
Believe it or not, China is the largest supplier of raw material for drug production to the largest medicine manufacturer of the world.
It is the urgent need of the hour that India reduces its raw material / bulk drug/ API dependence on China and take special economic permissions from the government to manufacture them on the hone ground at competitive prices.
Indian pharmaceutical industry can in the near future not only create more production lines ,serve as a life saver on terms of treatment but also create newer/ additional jobs in the bulk drug sector.
Else forever, with every passing decade, the dilemma/s similar to that of the HCQ production will continue….