The Centre is currently engaged in discussions with the pharma and medical devices sector in order to set up a "national stockpile" of life-saving drugs and crucial medical equipment. The government wants to create this stockpile in order to combat the potential third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, there was an acute shortage of important drugs like Remdesivir and medical equipment such as pulse oximeters. By creating a national stockpile the government aims to prevent such shortages in the future.
At the moment the government is only conducting a weekly review of drugs' availability in the country and is keeping track of Amphotericin B, the drug used for treating Black Fungus, production, industry experts explained, according to The Times of India. Under the department of pharmaceuticals, the Centre has formed a task force for keeping track of medical equipment. The task force will shortlist key items and would also seek advice from other stakeholders, according to the daily.
The creation of the stockpile of medicine and medical equipment is expected to help firms plan out and manage inventory. It will also help in strengthening the supply chain and resolve possible glitches in the manufacturing process.
Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Secretary General Sudarshan Jain told the daily that Centre and state governments are working on the same. "We need to be prepared so that we are not caught off guard this time around. Companies are working on their production cycle and inventory management so that there is a faster turnaround of critical drugs in case of an emergency," he said.
The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to hit India in the next few months, according to experts.
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