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Last Updated : May 18, 2020 03:33 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Pharma companies' capacity utilisation stood at 50-60% till May 17: Report

Congestion at crucial ports might lead to a shortage of raw materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).


Amid the nationwide lockdown, supply of medicines may be disrupted as pharmaceutical companies continue to face issues related to distribution and logistics.

Units in the pharmaceutical industry were operating at 50-60 percent capacity at the end of the third phase of the lockdown,  The Times of India reported.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

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India is dependent on imports of raw materials, especially from China, to manufacture generic drugs. Congestion at crucial ports, such as Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), may lead to a shortage of raw materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the report said.

Movement of air cargo at Mumbai airport has been affected, the report added.

"Not only is the cargo not being cleared, shipment costs have nearly doubled from $750 per container. There is also an increase in air freight costs to about four times. There are containers with medicines/insulins requiring a cool chain, which could be affected. We could face a shortfall in raw materials, and disruption in production as our inventory is also over," a source told the publication.

Exports of generic drugs to countries such as the US could also take a hit, since manufacturing has seen a dip at hubs like Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) and Pithampur(Madhya Pradesh).

"We continue to operate our Nashik factory at 100 percent capacity, and our contract manufacturing factories are now operating at 60-65 percent capacity up from 30-35 percent a couple of weeks ago. In some states, we face some minor last-mile logistics and distribution challenges on account of interstate transfer of medicines. But overall, the situation has improved significantly," a GSK spokesperson told the paper.

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First Published on May 18, 2020 03:33 pm
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