Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Bhagwant Khuba has said that the Indian pharmaceutical companies have become reliable and affordable suppliers of high-quality drugs, significantly improving healthcare access worldwide. He was leading the Indian delegation in the Second World Local Production Forum (WLPF) held in Hague, Netherlands today, November 7.
The Minister further said that 21st century has seen frequent epidemics and pandemics like COVID-19, revealing vulnerabilities in global supply chain and inequities in accessing quality medical countermeasures. Inadequate diagnostic tools worsened outbreaks, emphasizing the necessity of enhancing cooperation for sustainable, affordable diagnostic countermeasures to improve global access to them. Countries worldwide have realized the importance of collaboration between multiple sectors for achieving equity in providing novel solutions.
He also informed that the pharmaceutical industry in India is one of the largest globally, earning India the title of the ‘Pharmacy of the World.’ Indian pharmaceutical companies have become reliable and affordable suppliers of high-quality drugs, significantly improving healthcare access worldwide. He said that India provides approximately 60% of the global vaccine supply, accounts for 20-22% of generic exports and serves over 200 countries through its pharmaceutical exports. Numerous Indian organizations have played a pivotal role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship that act as a landscape for innovative mind and ultimately boosts health sector.
The meeting is being organised from November 6 to 8, 2023. The World Local Production Platform is a platform created at the initiative of WHO with the aim of increasing access to medicines and other health technologies.
Union Minister Khuba said that the meeting provides a crucial opportunity to share experiences, challenges and successes in the development and manufacturing of diagnostic countermeasures. He said that we must collaborate further to identify innovative approaches that will enable sustainable and equitable access to these critical tools.
The MoS said that the government is providing funding, mentoring, incubation space etc, and acts as a bridge between academia and industry, to ensure timely translation of innovations into commercial ventures”.
The Minister also said, “Currently, local production faces significant challenges as it seeks to address the critical issue of translating research into product development. Lack of technology transfer stands out as a formidable barrier. Validation, production, and distribution are daunting hurdles, requiring efficient coordination to bring innovative healthcare technologies to market. Capacity building in regulatory systems and skilled technical manpower are necessary ingredients. The Forum must focus on marketing, upscaling regional manufacturing, efficient procurement and delivery systems, and repurposing existing infrastructure for efficient coordination during health emergencies. Last-mile delivery to ensure that the benefits of innovations reach those who need them most and guarantee equitable access to essential healthcare products”.
During his visit, he also met the Minister of Public Health of Surinam Dr. Amar N. Ramadhin and discussed about quality health care. He also visited Eindhoven to take part in Kannada Rajyotsava 2023 Celebrations of Shrigandha Holland Kannada Balaga.