A letter has been issued by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to all pharma industry associations expressing the low inventory level of cardiac and anti-diabetic medicines at the distributor level.
The letter states that, “it has received a communication from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), letter no 37001/2020/ Div III/ NPPA dated April 24, 2020 wherein they have noted that cardiac and anti-diabetic drugs including insulin stocks level are below than normal.”
“We have recently checked the market stock availability of all the medicines through our C&F agent and realised that there is no shortages of any medicines as on date, also there are sufficient stock available with the companies to feed the market requirements.” Commenting on the market availability of these medicines in the market, Rajiv Singhal, General Secretary, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggist (AIOCD) said.
Anil Khanna, Partner, Wisdomsmith Advisors LLP explained, “In the month of February, the inventory for both these therapies was nearly 40 days. And this inventory was at the stockists level. Add to it, nearly 7-10 days would be at the retail level, further add on inventory would be at the plant. So total inventory could be around 75 days. Hence, I don’t feel that there would be shortage/ low level of inventory at the distributor level.”
Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) justifies the move and said, “This could be the market assessment exercise by the government to ensure that there is no shortage of medicines at any given point of time. As of now there is no shortage or low level of inventory of these medicines, including insulins in the market, however if the production is not resumed completely then there are possibilities of facing such problems.”
“At present, we have not come across with any information about the shortage of diabetes medicines or insulins. In fact, if at all, any patient is finding difficulties in sourcing them, we are ensuring from our team that get access to the medicines during the pandemic due to COVID-19.” Dr Shashank Joshi, Chairman International Diabetes Federation, South East Asia said.
It has been also requested as per letter by the CDSCO to take urgent, necessary action to ensure sufficient availability of anti-diabetic and cardiac medicines at all times. Further instructions to the drug manufacturing companies has also been issued to accelerate their operations and ensure the replenishment of stocks of medicines through wholesalers/distributors/retailer/ chemists so as to reach the hospital/ clinics and to patients as well.
The NPPA has also requested the CDSCO to provide the details of manufacture of cardiac and anti-diabetic drugs, especially in respect of insulin, aspirin and atorvastatin like manufacture/ importers and contact details, manufacturing capacity, production of February, March and April 2020, average monthly import quantity, monthly import quantity of February, March and April 2020 and stock position as of March 31 and April 15, 2020.