The pharmaceutical industry plays a crucial role amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The emergence of the Coronavirus at the end of 2019 has put the pharmaceutical industry worldwide in a state of significant pressure.
While the healthcare workers figure out ways to treat the virus, pharmaceutical professionals have been trying their best to identify which is the best available drug to treat Covid-19 patients or potential new medicines to help curb the symptoms of the virus.
Besides trying to meet the requirements of Covid-19 emergency medicines, they also ensure the production of other medicines used for the treatment of other conditions is not impacted.
The pharma industry worldwide had to quickly adapt the change and ensure that it can sustain the disruption and work efficiently in a post COVID environment.
As the pharmaceutical industry prepares for the second wave of the virus, they have foreseen possible scenarios to ensure there is no interruption no matter the situation and help to save more lives in the future.
Covid-19, also known as a novel virus, was declared as a worldwide emergency by WHO in March 2020, followed by a growing sense of panic among the general public and healthcare professionals in need to come up with a solution to curb the spread of the virus, no wonder first six months of 2020 were tough and continues to be.
During the pandemic, there have been a number of success stories that highlight the vital work the pharmaceutical industry has done, and these should be treated as a benchmark as the virus is here to stay for a long, and we have to give it a tough fight.
As we look back, the pace at which developments have taken place since Covid-19, we can say that it has been persistent. Medical and pharma professionals around the world continue to work ferociously to develop a vaccine that delivers promising results, and a few have already been into the testing phase, and the success rate is yet to be officially declared by the authorities. The discovery of Dexamethasone, which is a cheap and easily available steroid in use since the 1960s, has worked well and improved survival ratio, as well as authorities in many countries, have approved the same for immediate use.
Ultimately the speed, agility, and collaboration across the pharmaceutical community worldwide have been of immense benefit to fight against Covid-19 and will continue to be as we still fight with the novel virus. This makes it very clear that any future pandemic can be fought strategically with the collaboration of pharmaceutical companies, experts, scientists, and local authorities that work towards a common goal.
Insights and analytics play an important role in pharmaceutical operations to strongly prepare for Covid-19 and future pandemics. These insights aid in identifying the right treatment and suggest ways to approach in times of a pandemic.
Data Analytics can be used as a basis for the treatment of many diseases. However, to make the data analytics sharper and precise, technology can be helpful. For instance, other nations might not be aware of the independent studies on a particular drug carried out in one country. The existence of such data available might help expedite the process.
This is where the pharmaceutical industry can leverage emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence – AI and Machine Learning – ML. The automation of data analytics and implementing AI capabilities managing large datasets becomes easier, and insights can be accessed readily. This will revolutionize the way the pharma industry must be handling such huge datasets.
Demand and Supply
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the countries affected were not prepared at the beginning of the crisis. Many countries and their health services were not prepared for this mammoth size outbreak in terms of having the right equipment, infrastructure, and providing facility to respond quickly. In the beginning, the procedure to test for Covid-19 took a little longer, and by the time this was realized, things were going out of hands, and countries had been caught off guard.
In such a situation, logistics plays an important role. For instance, the production house of a certain drug may be in India, and they may be souring raw material from Japan, and the distribution center must be somewhere in Europe. The Pharma industry has to deal with all of these for medicines that have a short shelf-life.
To mitigate these struggles and be prepared for any future outbreak, the industry should be able to locally scale up the production of key resources and special testing kits and medicines as soon as they are needed. This requires support from local authorities and international healthcare bodies to be agile and cooperate in developing emergency procedures to scale up production at such times.
By default, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry is a heavily regulated one, and the pandemic has created a need to expedite the regulatory processes. However, the lockdown restrictions and border closures for an unprecedented time made it more difficult to address emergency issues efficiently. Also, the inconsistencies across nations in terms of how the state approves a particular treatment made it difficult.
To have the future readiness to meet the pandemic and create a set process, the pharmaceutical industry and the local regulating authorities should work closely to ensure the responses are coordinated efficiently. One of the solutions is completely enabling procedures related to online prescription consultation, both during and even after the pandemic.
As we see that Covid-19 is associated with many short and long term impacts on the healthcare market, especially the pharma industry in the global and local markets, and there is a lot of scope of improvement to be prepared for the second wave and any such outbreak in the future. These may be helpful to policy makers around the globe to make informed decisions to combat challenges. Proper planning should be considered to prevent long-term complications, identifying short term impacts along-side data-analysis.
With the passing of time, the general public has accepted the fact that they will have to live with Coronavirus, and it is up to them how to control the spread and what all precautions need to be taken. As the pandemic continues to impact or bang each and every aspect of human life, border restrictions are easing, and many positive steps’ struggles are easing too. On the other side, effortless and seamless online prescription consultation is one of the solutions to many problems.
It is high-time the pharmaceutical industry proactively shows the readiness to combat current Covid-19 and for any upcoming challenges in the future. Overall innovation, efficiency, and collaboration is the need of the hour.