In Gujarat, pharmaceutical industry’s 900 out of 1,100 plants have started operations in the state even after lockdown imposed by the government to contain COVID-19. Most of these plants produce formulations. These 900 manufacturing plants have started working at 80% of its capacity.
Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) Commissioner Dr HG Koshia informed, “There are manufacturing units which are likely to start operations soon which include APIs, formulations and medical device units. These 900 plants represent major companies like Alembic, Sun Pharma, Intas, Troikaa Pharma among others. Today we have 334 licensed hand sanitisers manufacturers from the earlier 234 manufacturers. We are well equipped to meet the demands of key drugs for COVID-19 patients like hydoxychloroquine (HCQ), lopinavir and ritonavir as we move forward to export HCQ to regulated markets for COVID-19 patients.”
Over one crore HCQ tablets has been manufactured by Gujarat government for COVID-19 patients and healthcare workers. Hydoxychloroquine which is required for prophylactic use for healthcare workers and for people suffering from COVID-19 positive cases.
“Gujarat has the capacity of 15 metric tonnes capacity available in the form of three bulk drug manufacturers which can produce seven crore hydroxychloroquine tablets at one go. There are three bulk drug players like Cadila Healthcare, Vital Laboratories, Mangalam Drugs and Organics in Gujarat”, according to official.
The Gujarat government has become first such state government which has recently exempted sale and distribution of ethanol for production of hand sanitisers in order to tide over the shortage of hand sanitisers in the state.
Prohibition department to exempt ethanol sale for production of hand sanitisers has been recommended by Gujarat FDCA . Major companies to start operations based on the layout design approvals of plants are Exotic Pharma, Godhara, Aashka Formulation, Gandhinagar, Akshar Air Gases, Surat, Swan Medicot Morbid, Fishfa Biogenics, Rajkot, Chevron Pharma, Bharuch, Alidac Pharmaceuticals, Ahmedabad Rural, Madilyn Healthcare, Ahmedabad Rural, M J Healthcare, Mehsana, Labron Healthcare, Mehsana, Trio Lifescience, Ahmedabad city, Punishka Healthcare, Edkem Pharmaceuticals, Avantika Medex, Derek Healthcare, Dewcare Concept, Afeel Life Care, Rajkot and Moksh Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara.
Earlier, Gujarat government has also revised its time line for grant of manufacturing licenses to 60 days from the earlier stipulated time line of 120 days. Revision of time for grant of manufacturing licenses has been a major initiative by the government as part of Pharma Vision 2020 as a Right of Citizens to Services for speedy issuance of licenses.