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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Drug manufacturers still have a variety of ways to limit the impact of the Biden administration’s historic decision. Whether the huge political loss for industry translates into more than just headline-risk or faster global COVID vaccination remains to be seen. It is also not clear whether it is an ominous sign for other industry battles in the US, including the drug pricing debate.
MSD-India Region chief outlines further specifics around the just-announced voluntary licensing deal for molnupiravir with Indian firms, noting an expectation to discuss local data needs with the country’s regulator. All eyes are also on whether non-licensee Natco will stay the course for its application for the investigational antiviral.
Prices for J&J and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines will be watched closely as India permits private sales. While demand is set to spike with age criteria for those eligible to receive the shots expanded, local manufacturers Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech are ramping up capacities with the government’s help.