India’s COVID-19 Nightmare And How Pharma Is Holding Up
A COVID-19 second wave is wreaking havoc in India but pharma appears to be holding things together for now, stretching resources amid a dip in personnel attendance and supply chain strains. Limited vaccine supplies, a spurt in API prices and an inevitable third wave could mean further turbulence ahead.
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Early COVID-19 therapies including Gilead’s remdesivir, China-plus procurement policies, vaccine partnerships and a dovish stance by the central bank led to returns on India biotech and healthcare funds outperforming global returns. Meanwhile, funding for e-pharmacies and online consulting firms gathered pace.
Sun Pharma's senior leadership talks to Scrip about the focus in India on differentiated therapies; the challenges of holding adequate 'strategic inventory' amid waves of the pandemic; and where things stand for active pharmaceutical ingredients. India’s top ranked drug firm is apparently not averse to a role in COVID-19 vaccine distribution, either.
While a Star Health study found high hospitalization costs for COVID-19 patients in India, those vaccinated paid 24% less and faced 81% lower mortality risk. However, insurers are unlikely to offer lower premiums to those vaccinated, even as the prospects for an overall hike remain uncertain, say experts.