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Modi lauds pharma industry, doctors and para-medics for their invaluable service during pandemic
New Delhi, April 20, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded the pharmaceutical industry, the doctors, medical and para-medical staff for their invaluable service during the coronavirus pandemic.
Modi conducted separate interactions with leaders of the pharmaceutical industry and medical professionals via video conferencing.
He said that, due to the efforts of the pharma industry, India has become identified as the "pharmacy of the world". Essential medicines were made available to more than 150 countries around the world during the pandemic. Despite all the challenges, the Indian pharma industry also registered a growth of 18% in exports last year, which shows its potential, he said.
Noting the second wave of the virus and the rising number of cases, he commended the pharma industry for its efforts to increase the production of several necessary drugs. He also expressed appreciation for their gesture in reducing the price of injections like Remdesivir.
To ensure a smooth supply of medicines and essential medical equipment, Modi urged the pharma industry to set up seamless supply chains. He also extended the government’s support for facilities like logistics and transportation.
He urged the industry to conduct more research on threats that could occur in the future along with COVID. This, he said, would help India take the lead in combating the virus. Seeking cooperation from the pharma industry, he said the government was undertaking reforms for new drugs and regulatory processes.
The industry leaders highlighted the efforts made over the past year in ensuring the availability of drugs by keeping operational the manufacturing and logistics facilities. At the pharma hubs, the manufacturing, transportation, logistics and ancillary services were being maintained at the optimum level. The participants also shared inputs on the steps to meet the overall medicine demand in the country despite the unprecedented increase in demand for some drugs in the COVID Treatment Protocol.
The meeting was also attended by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr V K Paul Member (Health), NITI Aayog, the Cabinet Secretary, the Union Health Secretary, the Union Pharmaceuticals Secretary, and the Director-General of ICMR.
During his interaction with the doctors and other medical professionals, Modi said that, during this period last year, it was due to the hard work by the doctors and health workers that the nation developed a successful strategy to control the coronavirus wave.
“Now that the country is facing the second wave, all the doctors, our frontline workers are confronting the pandemic with full force and are saving the lives of millions of people,” he added.
Recently, the Central Government took many important decisions related to the supply of essential medicines, injections and sufficient availability of oxygen. State Governments have also been given the necessary guidelines, he said.
Terming vaccination as the biggest weapon in the fight against the virus, he urged the doctors to encourage more and more patients to get vaccinated. The doctors should educate people against falling prey to several rumours on COVID treatment & prevention.
“In these difficult times, it is very important that people do not become a victim of panic. For this, along with proper treatment, emphasis must also be on counselling of patients admitted in hospitals,”
He urged the doctors to use telemedicine for the treatment of other diseases, where there was no urgency.
Noting that the pandemic was spreading rapidly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, he called for accelerating efforts to upgrade resources in such places. He urged the doctors to connect with their colleagues working in these cities and provide them online consultations to ensure that all protocols were followed correctly.
The doctors shared their experiences in dealing with the pandemic. They also spoke about how they were augmenting healthcare infrastructure. They reiterated the importance of people wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing norms. They spoke on the need to maintain health infrastructure for non-COVID patients. They were also sensitising patients against improper use of medicines.