PM to pharma units: Manufacture diagnostic kits on war footing

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged pharma industry leaders to work on the manufacture of RNA Diagnostic Kits for COVID-19 on a war footing, and also suggested exploring home-delivery model to promote social distancing at pharmacies.
The PM, in a video conference with pharma industry leaders, said: “In this hour of need, it is imperative for the industry to work continuously and also ensure that there is no shortage of workforce in the pharma sector”.
He suggested exploration of home-delivery model to allow maintenance of social distancing at pharmacies, and also promotion of usage of digital payment mechanisms to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Prime Minister said that due to the trust of the people in the pharma industry, it has an important role to play in dissemination of scientific information to the people.
The pharmaceutical associations appreciated the PM for taking leadership in the ongoing health crisis due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The associations said they are committed to maintaining supply of essential medicines and equipment, and are also working on developing vaccines.
The PM said the government is committed to helping the industry in maintaining supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), underlining the importance of manufacture of such APIs within the country. He said in order to ensure production of critical drugs and medical equipment within the country, the government has approved schemes worth Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 4,000 crore respectively.
“Pharma producers and distributors have a crucial role to play in combating the challenge of COVID-19… not only does the industry need to ensure maintenance of supply lines of essential medicines, medical kits and equipment, but at the same time should try to come up with new and innovative solutions”, said the PM.
He emphasized that the medicine retailers and pharmacists to be on constant vigil to ensure that black marketing and hoarding of medicines is avoided and supply of essentials maintained. The video conference was also attended by senior government officials.

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