Home / Industry / Manufacturing /  Medicine factories are yet to get back to 50% of capacity

NEW DELHI : Low production level of medicines for a wide range of chronic illness combined with panic buying by consumers amid the lockdown is sparking concerns about their availability in the coming weeks.

There is inventory for just 23 days for anti-diabetic drugs, which saw a 6% increase between April 1 to 22 compared to the corresponding period of March, according to data from market research firm AIOCD-AWACS. There was also panic buying, which led to an increase in sales of anti-diabetes drugs in March.

“There is panic buying of medication for diabetes, as well as cardiac and hypertension drugs. Insulin is seeing panic buying. Where people should be buying five doses of insulin, they are buying 20. We request people to not indulge in panic buying," said Rajeev Singhal, general secretary of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).

Overall business has been hit by the nationwide lockdown, Singhal said.

Most medicine factories are running at 50% of capacity or less because of the lack of manpower and also because local authorities are not giving permission for the units to function despite orders by the ministry of home affairs to ease the supply of essentials.

Industry officials believe the situation could deteriorate for the industry if the nationwide lockdown continues, especially as medicine for acute symptoms accounted for nearly half of the sales for pharmaceutical companies before the lockdown.

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